THE TRENTE ANS DE THÉÂTRE
moters of the Œuvre des Trente ans could well afford to risk giving at a Popular Gala the most aristocratic of all Racine's plays, one that appears to have been written for the education of princes, one indeed which the present crowned heads of Europe—in Saxony and Serbia, for instance!—would do well to put into the hands of their sons ("For my sons when they reach the age of twenty"), and even contemplate themselves; but which has nothing to do with the people. I wish to add that the pill was sugar-coated, for the tradegy was sandwiched in between two generous doses of stupid or light songs, and the hero of the occasion was—with Mme. Bartet—M. Polin!
Of course, not all the performances were like that at the Trianon. The only given on February 18, 1903, at the Salle Huyghens, for instance, where the Comédie-Française played Le Malade imaginaire, was a popular-priced production. And the audience was far different. In the cheap seats were to be found true representatives of the working classes—and in goodly numbers. Still, the majority of seats were occupied by the lower Bour-
- ↑ The program consisted of songs by Mme. Anna Thibaud and M. Cooper; Bérénice of Racine by the Comédie-Française and songs by M. Polin.
I do not here refer to literary performances, and there is too much to say about the musical programs. At least, the Comédie-Française and the Odéon have masterpieces in their repertories. But the repertories of our State theaters are littered with pretentions and stupid music: Meyerbeer operas, Adam opéra-comiques, etc., vapid things, without sincerity or style. Enough to kill all taste, for music in the people.