Yvette Guilbert - Encyclopedia




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YVETTE GUILBERT (1869-), French diseuse, was born in Paris. She served for two years until 1885 in the Magasin du Printemps, when, on the advice of the journalist, Edmond Stoullig, she trained for the stage under Landrol. She made her debut at the Bouffes du Nord, then played at the Varietes, and in 1890 she received a regular engagement at the Eldorado to sing a couple of songs at the beginning of the performance. She also sang at the Ambassadeurs. She soon won an immense vogue by her rendering of songs drawn from Parisian lower-class life, or from the humours of the Latin Quarter, "Quatre z'etudiants" and the "Hotel du numeeo trois" being among her early triumphs. Her adoption of an habitual yellow dress and long black gloves, her studied simplicity of diction, and her ingenuous delivery of songs charged with risque meaning, made her famous. She owed something to M. Xanrof, who for a long time composed songs especially for her, and perhaps still more to Aristide Bruant, who wrote many of her argot songs. She made successful tours in England, Germany and America, and was in great request as an entertainer in private houses. In 1895 she married Dr M. Schiller. In later years she discarded something of her earlier manner, and sang songs of the "pompadour" and the "crinoline" period in costume. She published the novels La Vedette and Les Demi-vieilles, both in 1902.

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