Eavesdropping on the Théâtrophone in Paris
Drawing on bi-weekly programs published and distributed by the Société du Théâtrophone (now preserved by the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, France), this portion of the website focuses on the musical and theatrical performances Parisians could have experienced over the telephone's wires.
The first program dates back to November 12-14, 1904, a week in which Richard Wagner's Die Walküre—or La Walkyrie, as it was known in French—was performed at France's foremost opera house, the Palais Garnier. The exhibit "Performing La Walkyrie at the Palais Garnier" offers a glimpse into this event through a series of photographs culled from contemporary magazines and newspapers. In addition, this exhibit allows us to hear the voices of some of the singers who performed in this performance, several of whom went on to become significant sound recording artists.
The second program promoted performances scheduled for December 13-17, 1904. The exhibit "Dial-Surfing" draws on a wide array of primary sources to provide a richly textured perspective on the fourteen different shows at six distinct venues Parisians could dial up during those days.