French Opera: A Short History by Vincent Giroud

By Vincent Giroud

French opera is moment merely to Italian opera within the size, breadth, and variety of its background. but most folks, if requested to return up with titles, might point out just a handful of titles—Carmen, Faust, Pelleas et Melisande, Samson et Dalila—a small record for an operatic culture that all started within the 17th century and remains to be greatly alive. This publication offers an entire, single-volume account of opera in France from its origins to the current day.

Vincent Giroud seems on the major composers, from Lully to Messiaen and past; on the improvement of French operatic shape and magnificence; at functionality, performers, and viewers; and on the influence of French opera past France’s borders. fanatics of opera will locate this an amazing better half to their appreciation of the shape.

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54 Campra and Danchet also collaborated on opéras-ballets. In Les Muses (1703), each entrée was devoted to a genre (pastoral, satire, tragedy, comedy). 56 Its own source was a 1705 play by Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon, but it was Danchet who introduced Electra into the story. He also changed the name of the heroine, Erixène, into the more euphonious Ilione – Mozart’s Ilia. 57 As in Charpentier’s Médée, the ending reveals a shift away from the tragédie en musique with a happy ending that was the norm in Lully’s day.

69 His first comedy Les rivales was staged at the Hôtel de Bourgogne when he was just 18. Between 1653 and 1673 when he wrote Cadmus et Hermione, his first tragédie en musique, he produced comedies, pastorals, tragi-comédies (in seventeenth-century theatrical terminology, serious plays without a tragic ending) and tragedies. Launched in 1667–8 with the “eclogue in music” La grotte de Versailles,70 his collaboration with Lully occupied him exclusively after that date, and he retired after completing the libretto for their last joint work, Armide (1685).

60 Télémaque et Calypso (1714), set to a libretto by Simon-Joseph Pellegrin (1663–1745), was less successful, and Destouches abandoned the tragédie en musique after the failure of Sémiramis (1718), whose librettist was Roy. The adolescent Louis XV danced in his opéra-ballet Les Élémens, performed at the Tuileries in 1721 – a shortlived return to the court ballet tradition of the youth of Louis XIV. Destouches retired from the stage after the failure of the ballet héroïque Les stratagèmes de l’amour in 1726.

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