Stage and street, costumes and masks, mime and puppetry...
Music-hall, songs, cabaret
Yvette Guilbert by Ferdinand Bac. Drawing
As well as books and journals, BnF’s collections on music hall, song, and cabaret include books of press cuttings – among which a large number of biographical files on French and foreign singers – together with programs from performances from the 19th century to the present day.
In particular, these include the following:
- texts of songs from 1789 to 1848 songs from the Le Caveau cabaret,
- songs from the Le Caveau cabaret, documents on the Montmartre cabarets, the Chat Noir, the Quat’zarts, and café concerts a collection on review
- documents on the Montmartre cabarets, the Chat Noir, the Quat’zarts, and café concerts
- performances since 1829 (at the Casino de Paris, the Folies-Bergère, etc.)
Collections also include performance images: prints, drawings, and photographs. These include the following:
- scenes from performances (Jacques Aubin collection)
- artist portraits (including in particular photographs by George-Henri)
- photos of theatrical premises (collection of the SIPA photography agency)
In addition, the Library owns mock-ups of patterns and costumes (by Paul Colin, Erté, Zamora, etc.) and posters advertising artists (Mayol, Georgius, etc.).
The correspondence and manuscripts collection brings together letters sent and received by famous popular singers (Aristide Bruant, Yvette Guilbert, Maurice Chevalier, etc.) and manuscripts belonging to cabaret singers.
Collections also include large sets of documents on Mistinguett’s career from 1899 to 1951, singer Germaine Montéro, and variety artist La Houppa. They also include the collections of cabaret singers Robert Rocca and Jean Lec, librettist and author of musicals Albert Willemetz, and Maurice Lehmann, director of the Théâtre du Châtelet from 1928 to 1966.