Yvette Guilbert: French Chanteuse


The French chanteuse had been a star of Paris and London music halls for seven years when she made her American debut at the kick-off of Oscar Hammerstein’s Olympia in 1895. She was to return to enchant American audiences several times with her suggestive repertoire of alternating French and English songs — inspiring an entire generation of American songstresses in the bargain (notably, Nora Bayes). The name Guilbert was synonymous with the affecting use of facial expression and gesture to help communicate a song. Her last American appearance was in 1928.

Here she is singing “Quand on vous aime comme ça”:

To find out more about these variety artists and the history of vaudevilleconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.


And don’t miss my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc



3 Responses to “Yvette Guilbert: French Chanteuse”

  1. […] An operatically trained singer, she was known for following in the footsteps of French chanteuse Yvette Guilbert by investing her songs with high dramatic values, emotionally dramatizing her songs so they would […]


  2. […] Among the class acts he imported for the Olympia Music Hall in the late 90s were French chanteuse Yvette Guilbert, England’s greatest music hall comedian Dan Leno (no relation to Jay), Italian quick-change […]


  3. […] a song. The latter quality is what inspired write Douglas Gilbert to call her “the American Guilbert”. The elegance and class Bayes naturally possessed were mere icing on the cake. She played the […]


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