Rue Favart

Arrondissement 2

Opéra Comique

The fin de sècle Comic Opera theatre in a street named after the early comic opera/vaudeville writer, Charles-Simon Favart, has a lengthy history. Lenin and Trotksy saw a show together there in 1902.

The Comic Opera, set up by Louis IV in 1714, had the first Favart Theatre built for it in 1783, when it was inaugurated in the presence of Marie-Antoinette. Charles-Simon Favart (1710-1792) was a popular playwright who helped inaugurate the comic opera vaudeville style.

Charles-Simon Favart began life as a pastry cook. Aged 24 he produced his first vaudeville theatre.

The first theatre in Rue Favart was destroyed by fire in 1838, and a new one built on the same site in 1840. The building was burnt down again in 1887 with nearly 100 people in the audience killed.

In 1898 the third Opéra Comique theatre was opened in Rue Favart in the presence of the French President, Félix Faure. It was the major work of architect, Louis Bernier (1845-1919).

Four years later Lenin loaned Trotsky a pair of respectable shoes so the two couples (Vladimir and Krupskaya, Natalya and Leon) could go along to a show, but Trotsky kept complaining the shoes were too tight.