<i>Rendre service à notre scène lyrique</i>—The Pasticcio

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:
Rendre service à notre scène lyrique—The Pasticcio

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This chapter explores pasticcio and attempts to give a sense of the eighteenth-century tradition of pasticci, on which the Odéon's practice was based. In the 1820s, the status of the pasticcio was ambiguous and confused. Still in vogue as an operatic modus operandi, it had less and less to do with rapidly developing ideas of a work's unity and artistry. The opera troupe at the Odéon mounted both single-composer and multiple-composer pasticci. The pasticcio was coming to the end of a long and distinguished career during the 1820s, and questions of unity and value moved to the center of the concerns of critics and audiences at the Odéon. Eighteenth-century patterns of producing pasticci have to be separated from the so-called medley opera, where more than one individual contributed a new act to a collaborative enterprise. Genuine pasticci inserted new compositions into an existing score, set an existing libretto to preexisting arias, or created a libretto to accommodate well-known music.

Keywords: pasticcio; Odéon; opera troupe; composers; libretto; eighteenth-century tradition

Chapter.  11793 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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