The Paris Opéra: An Encyclopedia of Operas, Ballets, Composers, and Performers - Vol. 1

The Paris Opéra: An Encyclopedia of Operas, Ballets, Composers, and Performers - Vol. 1

The Paris Opéra: An Encyclopedia of Operas, Ballets, Composers, and Performers - Vol. 1

The Paris Opéra: An Encyclopedia of Operas, Ballets, Composers, and Performers - Vol. 1

Synopsis

This second volume of The Paris Opera offers descriptions of balletic and lyrical compositions and biographical sketches of famous vocalists, dancers, choreographers, composers, and librettists. Each entry pertaining to an opera or ballet identifies its composer, librettist, choreographer, costumer, set designer, and the performers contributing to its creation and important revivals. Contents of scenarios and librettos are reported scene by scene or act by act. Basic bibliographies are provided with page references furnished for important books and periodicals. The appendix lists all lyric and choreographic works extant and first performed at the Opera between 1715 and 1815. The creators of each work are listed along with its title, genre, and the date of its world premiere or initial performance at the Opera.

Excerpt

This second volume in the present series of volumes on French opera and ballet is devoted to a description of the balletic and operatic repertory at the Paris Opera during the hundred year period following the death of Louis xiv on 1 September 1715. This section of the encyclopedia covers a varied, important, and colorful period. It begins significantly with the closing of Versailles and the establishment of the regency of Philippe d'Orléans; it includes the turbulent years when the French nation lost much of its power and prestige as well as its ruling dynasty; it extends through the Napoleonic era.

At the Royal Academy of Music, André Campra helped to usher in these troubled times, and in the following generation Jean-Philippe Rameau became the focus of a quarrel about music that seemed more important to many Parisians than the loss of a colonial empire or the threat posed by an intolerable national debt. As the century drew to a close, a foreign-born queen invited a compatriot to visit her so that he might correct the deficiencies that were annoying her at the royal opera house. These events and the innovations promoted by Campra, Rameau, Marie-Antoinette, Christoph Willibald Gluck, and Niccolò Piccinni constituted musical milestones in the development of operatic music in France during the eighteenth century, and they lent impetus to forces that would shape the romantic theatre at the start of the nineteenth century.

The specific information dealing with opera and ballet in Paris between 1715 and 1815 is presented here in encyclopedia format with entries arranged alphabetically. These entries are devoted to ballets, operas, dancers, singers, composers, librettists, and choreographers. As in the previous volume of the series, the contents of scenarios and librettos are reported scene by scene or act by act. Basic bibliographies are provided, and page references are furnished for important books and periodicals so that readers depending upon interlibrary loans and photocopies will find their research tasks facilitated. Pertinent dates and significant statistics are . . .

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