Mark Everist

in Music Drama at the Paris Odéon, 1824–1828

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2002 | ISBN: 9780520234451
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520928909 | DOI:

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This chapter introduces the book, in which music drama in nineteenth-century France is discussed. Definitions of what constituted opera in the early nineteenth century were much more inclusive than those of the early twenty-first, when a preference for the Wagnerian-Verdian operatic paradigm focused critical attention on continuous opera at the expense of such works with spoken dialogue as singspiel or opéra comique. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, librettists and composers moved effortlessly between various types of music drama: they used recitative or spoken dialogue to drive a work's narrative and wrote incidental music. Nineteenth-century France arranged its music drama in ways that were regimented and bureaucratic; three institutions mounted productions of different types: the Académie royale de musique, the Théâtre italien, and the Opéra Comique. Each type of composition was governed by different conventions, was heard in different locations, and was subject to different administrative and budgetary pressures.

Keywords: music drama; nineteenth century; Académie royale; Théâtre italien; Opéra Comique; France

Chapter.  4254 words. 

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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