Buried: Cimetière Monumental, Rue du Mesnil Gremichon, 76000 Rouen, France
In July 1952, parallel to his theater activity in his native Normandy, Jacques Hébertot became the owner of the spa town of Forges-les-Eaux, at the time battered by four years of German occupation. He intended to create a regional artistic center and to found a kind of international academy: "We will go from the Opera to the mystical drama. We will play Claudel as well as Meyerbeer, Beethoven and Strauss. Classical and modern...". Activities multiplied and Jacques Hébertot led a project dear to his heart: he bought the facade of the abandoned Carmelite convent of Gisors, disassembling stone by stone and then building it up again near the casino, along the road that leads to Dieppe. It's still there. Hébertot sold it in 1959 for lack of means, abandoning his expensive and ambitious project.
Address: 76440 Forges-les-Eaux, France (49.61331, 1.54588)
Type: Historic Street (open to public)
Forges-les-Eaux is a commune in the Seine-Maritime department in the Normandy region in northern France. On 1 January 2016, the former commune of Le Fossé was merged into Forges-les-Eaux. A farming and spa town, with considerable light industry, situated by the banks of the rivers Andelle and Epte, in the Pays de Bray, some 34 miles (55 km) southeast of Dieppe, at the junction of the D921, the D1314 and the D929 roads. Known as "De Forgis" in 1186, the first part of the name, Forges, is derived from the fact that it was an important centre for the mining and manufacturing of iron in Roman times. The second part of its name comes from the therapeutic use of the thermal waters from the XVI century onwards. A seigneur from Forges took part in the Battle of Hastings and another took part in the First Crusade. During the Hundred Years War, a certain Philippe de Forges was killed in 1356 at the Battle of Poitiers. Years later, but in the same conflict, the English besieged the castle and took the town, in 1418. Blanche d'Evreux, widow of Philippe VI of France, came here to take the waters in the fourteenth century, but it was the Chevalier de Varenne who really began the vogue in 1573. The spa became famous after the stay from 21 June to 13 July 1632 of Louis XIII, Anne of Austria and Cardinal Richelieu. Because of the royal visit, the parks, gardens and many water sources were developed, including three lakes that still exist today. Subsequently, many famous figures from French history have taken the waters. A large pottery factory was active from 1797 to the end of the XIX century. The casino was first built in the XIX century but destroyed by fire in 1896. It was rebuilt and reopened in 1902. 1906 saw the first (in France) annual butter conventions. The railway station was opened in the XIX century and runs a TER service to Gisors and Dieppe.
Who: André Daviel (January 28, 1886 – June 19, 1970) aka Jacques Hébertot
Jacques Hébertot was a French theater director, a poet, journalist and editor. The Hébertot theater in Paris bears his name since 1940. The family of André Daviel has among its ancestors the doctor Jacques Daviel, known to have been a friend of Denis Diderot, the surgeon of Louis XV and for practicing the operation of cataract and Alfred Daviel, a lawyer, Minister of Justice in 1851, then senator of the Empire and first honorary president of the Court of Appeal of Rouen, specialist in Norman customary law. The young André Daviel was born in this noble family at rue Socrate in Rouen. He studied at the Catholic college Join-Lambert in Rouen and in various Parisian colleges. Resolutely anti-conformist, he run as soon as he could to Paris and soon mixed with the young artistic circles and poets of the time. His artistic and literary ambitions worried his father who feared for the good name of the family. That is why, in 1903, at the age of 17, André Daviel became Jacques Hébertot: Jacques, in reference to the name of his ancestor doctor, Hébertot because he appreciated the name of this small village in Auge, close to the family property located in the hamlet of Beaumoucel, some distance from Beuzeville. He collects his first success with “Ballade pour le rachat de la maison” by Pierre Corneille which was awarded by the Revue Picarde et Normande. During this period, he wrote several plays, was the editor of “La Revue Mauve”, founded the magazine “L'Âme Normande”, published the poetry collection “Poèmes de mon pays”, even founded the “Théâtre d'art régional normand.” From 1909, at the age of 19, he was a member of the " Société des auteurs". After his military service in 1911, he was hired as a drama critic of the journal “Gil Blas.” In 1912, he gave lectures in Scandinavia as part of the French Alliance. From this time he tied to the artistic movement avant-garde, and he attended the "dîners de Passy" where he found his childhood friends, Apollinaire and Max Jacob, Milosz, Satie, Stravinsky, and Fernand Léger. While a journalist for “Gil Blas,” he was mobilized in August 1914. He was assigned to the 81e régiment d'artillerie lourde - 5e groupe, as a sergeant. For his courage under fire he was decorated with the Croix de Guerre. Throughout his time on the front, he wrote his notebooks of war, various notes, articles for the newspaper “Le Matin,” political considerations, description of the horrors of war and poems. In 1919 he was responsible for a literary and theatrical tour organized in Scandinavia on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. With Nils de Dardel he met the patron Rolf de Maré and his partner, dancer Jean Börlin. This meeting is the occasion for the birth of the idea which was to lead to the founding of the Scandinavian Ballets, later the Swedish Ballet. Rolf de Maré, very appreciative of the Ballets Russes and eager to start a new company, foresaw that Jacques Hébertot was the man for the job. He proposed to him to try a solo presentation of Jean Börlin in Paris. Jacques Hébertot rented the Comédie des Champs-Élysées for three nights, 25-27 March 1920, and hired an orchestra of 45 musicians under the direction of Désiré-Émile Inghelbrecht. Without stage decoration, Jean Börlin danced several compositions, including “Danse celeste”, inspired by Siam, “Sculpture nègre”, inspired by the Cusbism. It was a great success and Börlin was acclaimed. Rolf de Maré, convinced, decided to entrust Jacques Hébertot to find in Paris a vast room to represent the Swedish Ballets. After trying to sign with the Opéra de Paris and the Théâtre Sarah Bernhardt, on August 1, 1920, Jacques Hébertot signed the lease for the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées (Grand théâtre et Comédie). The grand theater was the Parisian base of the Swedish Ballets, Rolf de Maré dedicating themselves to their world tours, while Jacques Hébertot continued to animate the two Parisian theaters, now under his responsibility. The Théâtre des Champs-Élysées was to become an important artistic center, especially in the theatrical and musical fields, bringing in four years of high quality personalities: directors (Georges and Ludmilla Pitoëff, Jouvet, Gaston Baty) authors (Jean Cocteau, Paul Claudel, Blaise Cendrars, Francis Picabia, Anton Chekhov, Jules Romains, Pirandello), composers (Francis Poulenc, Darius Milhaud, Georges Auric, Germaine Tailleferre, Erik Satie). In the field of painting, galerie Montaigne hosted the first exhibition of Modigliani and the first Dada demonstrations. Meanwhile, Hébertot created the magazines “Théâtre et Comœdia illustré,” “Paris-Journal,” “La Danse,” “Monsieur”, with the collaboration of Louis Aragon, Georges Charensol and Rene Clair. Following financial problems, Hébertot left the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in 1925. He joined in 1938 his friends Georges and Ludmilla Pitoëff at the Théâtre des Mathurins. His friend Paulette Pax offered him, in 1938, to come and support the direction of the Théâtre de l'Œuvre. He resumed the lease of the theater in 1942, saying: "I will take the result of the efforts of my predecessors. I give the assurance that the Théâtre de l'Œuvre will remain an exceptional scene. I confirm that the Théâtre de l'Œuvre is a research theater and experiences, in a way, the theater of tomorrow". After producing many shows, creating a play of Pierre Brasseur, he assigned the lease of the Théâtre de l'Œuvre in 1944 to Raymond Rouleau. In 1940 Hébertot took over the management of the Théâtre des Arts, an old theater in Batignolles, built in 1838, 78 bis boulevard des Batignolles in the seventeenth arrondissement of Paris, and renamed it Théâtre Hébertot. There he attracted the greatest authors and comedians. In the spring 1957 he had the idea of a national weekly magazine: “Artaban” (peacock, "Because we are proud!"), dedicated to the arts in general. Despite concerns from friends Albert Camus and Maurice Clavel, he launched into an expensive adventure that was to fail in 1958. He died on June 19, 1970. He is buried in the monumental cemetery of Rouen in the vault of the Pinel Family, his mother side.
Queer Places, Vol. 3 edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: July 24, 2016
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