Quelque renseignements sur la construction de l’Opéra de Marseille et sur son inauguration, le 31 octobre 1787 suivis de “L’Union” du Commerce et des Arts. Prologue composé pour l’ouverture du nouveau théâtre de Marseille et représenté pour la première fois le 31 octobre 1787 par M. Pontheuil, Comédien du Roi.
Paris, Librairie Ancienne Honoré Champion 1920.
8vo. 25+(1)pp, incl. photo ills. Publisher’s printed wrappers, price clipped. One of three hundred copies only. Author’s ink presentation inscription to M. René Millaud, “Hommage sympathetique”, on front wrapper.
Author’s presentation copy of this scarce offprint from the Bulletin de la Société de l’Histoire du Théâtre, comprising short historical notes on the theatrical history of Marseilles, and in particular the town’s opera house, its first permanent theatre, designed by an architect named Bénard, along with a reprint of a short play written for the inauguration of Bénard’s theatre in 1787 by the actor Pontheuil. In a postscript Rondel informs us that shortly after writing this article in late 1919 the opera house was completely gutted by fire; restoration began a year later. Rondel (1858-1934) was by trade a banker but in his spare-time was a theatre historian and voracious collector of books on the subject, amassing a “bibliothèque théatrale” which ran to 800,000 documents and books, which he eventually donated to the Bibliothèque Nationale. He presented this copy to René Millaud, Secretaire-Rédacteur to the Chambre des Députés from 1901 to 1937, but who is mainly remembered as a photographic pioneer and author. This is one of only three hundred copies issued of this offprint, which was not commercially available.