Chapter

<i>La férule sévère et souvent capricieuse</i>—Control and Consumption

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520234451.003.0005
La férule sévère et souvent capricieuse—Control and Consumption

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This chapter discusses jury de lecture, the theater's reading committee; the ways in which censorship operated; and the controls exercised by the audience and the claque. In the eighteenth century, reading committees would summarily reach a decision on the quality of a play after they had listened to an author reading it aloud. The reading committee at the Odéon was made up of men of letters who represented scholarly, polemical, and dramatic literature and journalism. Two copies of the libretto were submitted to the censor two weeks before the premiere; one copy of the text would remain in the censor's archives, the other was returned to the director of the theater concerned, unless the work had been rejected out of hand, in which case both copies were returned to the author. The audience had power. They not only consumed and responded to the music drama presented to it, but controlled aspects of a performance.

Keywords: jury de lecture; censorship; audience; libretto; music drama

Chapter.  12948 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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