Marie-Antoinette's Personal Theatre Gets A Lockdown Makeover
Sumaira FH 7 days ago Mon 22nd February 2021 | 05:40 PM
Versailles, France, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 22nd Feb, 2021 ) :Pandemic or not, it's a theatre space that very rarely sees an audience: Marie-Antoinette's personal playhouse in the grounds of Versailles is a fragile historical gem in need of delicate care.
It was here, in 1785, that she gave her own last performance on stage, as Rosine in "The Barber of Seville" in front of its author, Beaumarchais.
"A testimony to the virtuosity of the 18th century decorators." The theatre was deemed worthless at the time of the revolution, and so never sold off. Yet restoring its former glory has been a job of painstaking conservation.
With visitors kept away by the pandemic, the team has been working on a new curtain, stitching the dazzling cobalt-blue linen together by hand using the original techniques.
They are also using the chateau's original inventory to rebuild other parts that have been lost over the years, including machinery that allows a tree to rise from a trapdoor.
But even when visitors are able to return, the 250-seat theatre will not be giving regular performances.
Despite being brought back to functioning life with a major restoration in 2001, its fragility has meant it only gives concerts once every two years.
That makes those moments particularly special, said Masson: "We are always very moved to hear the notes rise from the pit."