Gabrielle Debrives, also called Gabrielle De Brives (1883-1974), was an actress and singer who was among the regulars at Théâtre des Variétés. In this image, a publicity shot for the 1904 opera Barbe Bleue, in which she played "first page," Mlle. Debrives is costumed in a sumptuously embroidered satin outfit. The sharpness of the image is such that one can practically feel the texture of the cloth, just by looking at it. Her hat is equally amazing, with beautiful plumage. We're certain this image will be of interest to Renaissance costumers. Based on the mentions we have found of her, Mlle. Debrives appeared to specialize in supporting roles, and she seems to have been well-known and respected for her work during her lifetime, although little information has come down to us.
Bibliothèque nationale de France includes in their collection a copy of "Barbe-Bleue : opéra-bouffe en 3 actes." This was an operetta written by Jacques Offenbach and set to a French libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy. The story is based on the 1697 fairy tale "La Barbe bleue," or "Bluebeard" as it's known to most English speakers, by Charles Perrault, one of his darkest and most chilling stories.
The operetta is a bit lighter than the story upon which it was based, centering on the plight of two lovers, Prince Saphir and the flower-girl Fleurette, who were not part of the original fairy tale, and replacing the outright murder of Bluebeard's wives with a potion that Bluebeard believes kills the women, but which in fact only puts them in a deep sleep. Bluebeard, even before he has "killed" his newest wife, sets his sights upon Fleurette, who has been revealed as the Princess Hermia.
You can hear the overture to the opera on YouTube at:
or even listen to the entire opera at:
There are snippets of the opera from a more modern performance, but we have not been able to find a full production in video.
Wikipedia tells us that "Jacques Offenbach (20 June 1819 – 5 October 1880) was a German-born French composer, cellist and impresario of the romantic period. He is remembered for his nearly 100 operettas of the 1850s–1870s and his uncompleted opera The Tales of Hoffmann. He was a powerful influence on later composers of the operetta genre, particularly Johann Strauss, Jr. and Arthur Sullivan. His best-known works were continually revived during the 20th century, and many of his operettas continue to be staged in the 21st. The Tales of Hoffman remains part of the standard opera repertory."
The extremely prolific Jacques Offenbach wrote a large number of opéras bouffes, a genre of late 19th-century French operetta that is closely associated with him. Opéras bouffes are often comedic or farcical. Barbe Bleue is one of the most famous examples of the genre.
We are music lovers with very eclectic tastes, which include opera, and this work is new and delightful for us. It is very lively and sweet in it's opening passages, which are playing as we write this.
You may also be interested to know that Mlle. Debrives appeared in several silent films between 1910 and 1918, one of which, a short comedic film under 10 minutes, "Les timidités de Rigadin," which translates to "A Shy Youth," is available on YouTube at:
In the film, Mlle. Debrives plays a servant who leads the other servants in partying after their employers leave for a party, ensuring that there is merriment for all.
This enchanting image is sharp and clear, with a glossy finish. There is minor wear to the edges and corners, with some slight creasing of the corners, and some tiny dents in the surface of the card which do not detract from the figure, itself. Please examine our high res scans for detail.
Postage is for first class shipping in a secure photo mailer, and we happily combine shipping on all paper goods. If you purchase two cards, the price is the same as for a single card, and when you purchase three or more cards from us at the same time, your shipping will be entirely free, except for international orders which, due to the costs of international shipping will still be charged one card's shipping fees on orders of three or more. We do not charge for insurance or shipping materials, and as of the date of this listing are still charging below our overall cost on shipping.
And please come visit our blog at:
where we post biographical and historical tidbits, images of cards and photographs for sale, some already sold but remembered fondly, related images of historical interest and sometimes even images of items that have not yet arrived in the shop, but that are expected to arrive soon, as well as coupon codes, links to other related sites, and more!
SHIPPING DATE: Our goal is to ship your item within three to five business days of the completed transaction for your purchase. We are proud that we almost always meet our goal.
SHIPPING RATES: When we ship items, we take into account the cost to you, your convenience, and the safety of the object being shipped. Within the United States our paper ephemera, such as post cards, photographs, and pamphlets, are usually shipped USPS First Class; we generally ship books via media mail, and bulkier items USPS Parcel Post. If you require that we ship to you at another rate, or through another carrier, just let us know and we'll work it out.
SHIPPING INSURANCE: We cannot take responsibility for any damage which occurs during shipping. Of course, if you would prefer insurance, please convo us to that effect before your purchase, and we will get back to you with the additional cost.
PACKAGING & HANDLING FEES: We try, whenever possible, to pack items for shipping in recycled materials, such as newspaper, weekly ad sheets, previously used bubble wrap, etc. We find that our paper ephemera is best shipped in protective mailers designed to keep your purchases safe.
We do not usually include a packaging or handling fee, but may have to do so for items that require special packaging; when this is the case, the item listing will state this clearly.
SHIPPING OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES: Most of our items are available to be shipped outside the continental U.S. However, some bulky or delicate items are not currently available for overseas shipment. If you want to request that we make special arrangements for a specific item, please contact us and we'll do our best to accommodate you. We've shipped away over yonder before, and if that's what it takes to sell you a doo-dad...we will again.
SHIPPING DISCOUNTS FOR BULK SALES OF PAPER GOODS: Postage on paper goods is for first class shipping in a secure photo mailer, and we happily combine shipping on all paper goods.
Shipping within the U.S.A.: If you purchase two cards, we will refund the postage on the second card, and when you purchase three or more cards from us at the same time, your shipping fees (applied automatically during the checkout process) will be refunded, making your shipping costs entirely free.
International Shipping: Due to the highers costs of international shipping, purchasers will be charged the base shipping fee for a single card on all orders, including orders of three or more.
If you like it, please buy it!
METHODS OF PAYMENT: We accept PayPal and credit cards through Etsy's safe online payment system.
RESERVES and HOLDS: We only offer reserves and holds to our established customers. If you are a regular customer and would like to request that an item be reserved, please convo us for more information and to make arrangements.
As of Friday, Sept. 6th, 2013, we will no longer be reserving new items within their first 10 days of listing. Sorry
Please note that if for any reason you need to make an adjustment to a reserved item, it's extremely important to let us know. If we haven't heard from you or received payment within 24 hours of the agreed upon date, we will contact you via Etsy convo with a 24-hr notice before canceling the sale and re-listing the item.
SALES TAX: Arizona state residents will have to pay 6.6% sales tax, which will atomatically be added to your bill during the checkout process.
CUSTOMS: International buyers may have to pay duties and taxes on their purchases. Payment for duties and taxes are the responsibility of the purchaser; please contact your local customs office for more information.
Returns & exchanges
We want our customers to be thrilled with their purchases from Red Poulaine.
We do our best to describe every item we sell in careful detail, in addition to posting accurate photographs with each listing. If you need more photos, please let us know. We are very happy to answer any questions you may have regarding any listed item both before and after you purchase it. Like anyone, we prefer not having to deal with returns, and all of our items are sold on an "as is" basis. This being said, it is very important to us that you are happy with your purchase, so should a problem arise please let us know, and we will do our best to solve it with you.
If you have purchased an item and are dissatisfied for any reason, please contact us. We will do our best to make things right.
Thank you for shopping with Red Poulaine!
If, for any reason, after making a purchase, and before the item has been shipped, you should decide you need to cancel the transaction, just let us know. It is very important to us that you are completely happy with your shopping experience. If we have not yet shipped the item, we can issue an immediate refund and cancel the transaction with you.
Please note* the items you purchased in the canceled transaction will be immediately re-listed.