Baron, Michel

Baron or Boyron, Michel

(mēshĕl` bärôN` or bwärôN`), 1653–1729, one of the first great French actors. A protégé of Molière, he acted at the Hôtel de Bourgogne and at the Comédie Française. He brought a naturalness to the bombastic acting style established by Montfleury. In 1691 he retired at the height of his power only to return (1720) in perfect form to act with Adrienne LecouvreurLecouvreur, Adrienne
, 1692–1730, French actress. With Michel Baron she helped change the traditional acting techniques of the French stage to a simpler, more natural style. She was extremely popular from her debut at the Comédie Française in 1717.
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. He wrote several plays, of which L'Homme à bonnes fortunes (1686) was the most popular.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Baron, Michel

 

Born Oct. 8,1653, in Paris; died there on Dec. 22, 1729. French actor.

In 1665, Baron joined Moliére’s company. Beginning in 1673 he worked in the theater at the Hotel de Bourgogne, and beginning in 1680 (with a break from 1691 to 1720), at the Comedie Francaise. He played the roles of tragic heroes, including Hippolyte and Pyrrhus (in Racine’s Phedre and Andromaque) and Rodrigue and Horace (in Corneille’s Le Cid and Horace). Baron followed the principles of Moliere: he renounced monotonous evenness in reading alexandrine verse and subordinated intonation to thought and emotion. However, as an actor in classical theater he created images of exaggeratedly noble heroes, and he continued to use stylized costumes. Baron wrote the comedy L’Homme à bonnes fortunes (1686) and other works.

REFERENCES

Istoriia zapadnoevropeiskogo teatra, vol. 2. General editor, S. S. Mokul’skii. Moscow, 1957.
Copin, A. Histoire des comédiens de la troupe de Molière. Paris, 1866.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.