Staging the French Revolution: Cultural Politics and the by Mark Darlow

By Mark Darlow

During the last decade, the theatre and opera of the French Revolution were the topic of excessive scholarly reassessment, either when it comes to the connection among theatrical works and politics or ideology during this interval and at the query of longer-scale buildings of continuity or rupture in aesthetics. Staging the French Revolution: Cultural Politics and the Paris Opera, 1789-1794 strikes those discussions boldly ahead, targeting the Paris Opéra (Académie Royale de Musique) within the cultural and political context of the early French Revolution. either institutional historical past and cultural research, this can be the 1st ever full-scale examine of the Revolution and lyric theatre. The ebook concentrates on 3 elements of the way a royally-protected theatre negotiates the transition to nationwide theatre: the exterior measurement, equivalent to questions of possession and governance and the institution's courting with kingdom associations and renowned assemblies; the inner administration, funds, choice and guidance of works; and the cultural and aesthetic learn of the works themselves and in their reception.

In Staging the French Revolution, writer Mark Darlow deals an exceptional view of the fabric context of opera construction, combining in-depth archival study with a research of the works themselves. He argues mix of renowned and kingdom interventions created a repressive procedure within which cultural associations retained organisation, compelling members to stick with and give a contribution to a moving tradition. Theatre thereby emerged as a locus for competing discourses on patriotism, society, the function of the humanities within the Republic, and the articulation of the Revolution's relation with the 'Old Regime', and is hence a necessary key to the certainty of public opinion and exposure at this important old second. Combining contemporary methods to associations, sociability, and authors' rights with cultural reviews of opera, Staging the French Revolution takes a traditionally grounded and methodologically leading edge cross-disciplinary method of opera and persuasively re-evaluates the long-standing, yet particularly sterile, notion of propaganda.

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8 In this account, luxury is not so much bound up with national glory as it is associated with the frivolity of the Baroque: left-wing, “patriot” rhetoric has seized upon the standards of neoclassicism, as we shall see presently. This shows why the question of regulation is important. As Jane Fulcher has demonstrated in her study of Grand Opera, national theaters are public organisms and as such have a “personnalité morale,” by which she means a public resonance and an implicit association with the state.

39 On a more material level, it could be claimed that what 1789 represented for those making repertory decisions at the Opéra was uncertainty, maybe also insecurity; the most plausible response to this would be to seek stability in continuity of service, hence inscribing a strong element of continuity into a moment of instability. Indeed what is clear from surviving administrative paperwork is that the crown was responsive to public demand 37 Emblèmes, p. 6. 38 Politics, Culture, and Class, p. 3.

28 Dictionnaire de l’Académie Française, 4th edition (1762), p. 484, defines it in this way. Cf. 459, which points to a similar ecclesiastical society established in seventeenth-century England. 632 also cites J. MacPherson’s letter to George, Prince of Wales (27 September 1790): “All Kings have . . a new race of Pretenders to contend with, the disciples of the propaganda at Paris, or, as they call themselves, Les Ambassadeurs du genre humain” (ed. A. Aspinall, Correspondence of George, Prince of Wales, 1964); and the August 1797 Gentleman’s Magazine (p.

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