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La Presse théâtrale

(Paris, 1855-1865)

RIPM Preservation Series: European and North American Music Periodicals (2021)

Le Colporteur (Paris, 1854); La Presse théâtrale et musicale (Paris, 1855-1865); La Presse musicale (Paris, 1866-1892): numbered continuously, these three journals form one continuous run.

Begun in 1854, Le Colporteur (The Peddlar) is presented with a masthead image of a waifish man selling books along a quay, labeled “Colporteur libraire ambulant.” Lasting only ten issues, and edited by Jules Goislard, Le Colporteur began as a lighter, somewhat gossipy journal with a significant feuilleton in each issue. However, the journal began to focus on theatrical and musical reviews, and news.

At the start of the second volume in 1855, the journal changed titles to La Presse théâtrale to better reflect the editorial focus on theatrical and musical matters. Initially edited by Auguste Muriel through vol. 3 no. 30, the roles of rédacteur-en-chef and propriétaire-directeur change frequently in the third volume with Jules Levy, E. Firmin, Leo Lespès, and A. Lesca bearing these titles variously, until in the fourth volume (1857) stability is achieved with A. Giacomelli as editor and M. G. Kugelmann as director. While subtitles varied previously, beginning in 1857 the journal becomes simply titled La Presse théâtrale et musicale. Giacomelli (b. Italy, ca. 1825-?), previously director and editor of La Luth français (Paris, 1856-1857), was a theatrical agent and publisher.

In 1866, the title changed again, becoming simply La Presse musicale, wholly controlled by Giacomelli. RIPM’s copy—1866-1873, 1877; and a third series, 1889-1892—reflects that which could be located. As such, the numerous volume numbering irregularities make it difficult to determine exactly what was published in the 1870s and 1880s. Should another copy be located and made accessible, additional content shall be included.