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Smack, clap. Members of the audience at (usually) an opera‐house but also in the concert‐hall who are engaged by a performer, often at considerable expense, to applaud, call for encores, and generally show enthusiasm (or the reverse). Claques are highly organized, under leadership of a chef de claque, and exert considerable influence. The claque appears to have developed in Paris c.1820 and then to have spread to It. and to Vienna, and eventually to all the famous opera houses.

Subjects: Theatre — Music.

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