The Keys to French Opera in the Nineteenth Century / Edition 1

The Keys to French Opera in the Nineteenth Century / Edition 1

by Herve Lacombe, Herva1/2 Lacombe
     
 


The "keys" provided by Hervé Lacombe in this richly informed book open the door to understanding the essence of nineteenth-century French lyric theater. Lacombe illuminates the diverse elements that constitute opera by focusing his investigation around three main categories: composition and production; words, music, and drama; and the interaction of… See more details below

Overview


The "keys" provided by Hervé Lacombe in this richly informed book open the door to understanding the essence of nineteenth-century French lyric theater. Lacombe illuminates the diverse elements that constitute opera by focusing his investigation around three main categories: composition and production; words, music, and drama; and the interaction of society, genre, and aesthetics.

Lacombe chooses Bizet's Pearl Fishers (1863) as the exemplar of French opera that combines tradition and innovation. He uses Pearl Fishers as a paradigmatic point of reference for exploring questions of genesis, style, and aesthetic in other nineteenth-century French operatic works. French opera was a social art, he writes, and looping between past and future, between tradition and innovation, it achieved the seemingly impossible union of two antithetical aspects of Romanticism: the taste for theatricality and the desire for intimacy.

The voices of contemporary witnesses are heard throughout Lacombe's book. He makes abundant use of the writings of such musician-critics as Berlioz, Reyer, and Saint-Saëns and also draws on the works of many French writers, including Stendhal, Balzac, Baudelaire, and Zola. Illustrations showing costume sketches, scenery, posters, paintings, photographs, and magazine articles are attractive complements to discussions of particular operas. Together with Edward Schneider's accessible translation, the illustrations make this well-rounded and original study a trove of information for both music scholars and French historians.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520217195
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
01/12/2001
Pages:
442
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface to the English Edition
Introduction1
Pt. 1Genesis, Performance, and Reception
1The Genesis of an Opera9
2Performance33
3Reception67
Pt. 2Drama, Poetry, and Music83
4The Construction of a Drama87
5Space and Time120
6Poetic Expression and Musical Expression144
Pt. 3French Opera: Society, Genre, and Aesthetics
7The Parisian Operatic World209
8Genre226
9The Aesthetic Foundations of Nineteenth-Century French Opera252
Conclusion303
App. 1The Sources of Bizet's Les Pecheurs de perles311
App. 2The Versions of Les Pecheurs de perles314
App. 3Several States of the Beginning of the Act 2 Finale318
App. 4Passages Cut in the Course of Performance320
App. 5Performances and Daily Box-Office Receipts of the Theatre-Lyrique, September 27-November 28,1863322
App. 6The Staging of Les Pecheurs de perles325
App. 7Symmetrical Versification and Reformulation of the Text328
Biographical Notes on Composers331
Notes353
Index397

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