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Opera – Opera in France in the nineteenth century

In the nineteenth century, the apprenticeship of composers trained at the Paris Conservatory was designed to lead them to the king of genres: opera. In Paris, opera took shape in several institutions, each hosting a type of work linked to specific conventions. The Académie de musique, frequented by the triumphant bourgeoisie, cultivated grand opera in the wake of the Gluckist tragédie lyrique. Based on luxuriously staged historical subjects, grand opera emerged with Auber’s La Muette de Portici (1828), flourished with the works of Meyerbeer (from Robert Le Diable in 1831 to L'Africaine in 1865), then evolved with those of Halévy, Gounod, Thomas, Reyer and Saint-Saëns. The Théâtre-Italien was attended by the aristocracy and lovers of bel canto: only operas in Italian were performed there, including works by Cimarosa, Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti. The Opéra-Comique inherited the fair performances of the first eighteenth century. Singing and speaking alternated in entertaining works by Boieldieu, Hérold, Adam, Thomas, Delibes and Bizet. As the genre evolved, it gained in depth but lost in lightness (there is no longer anything “comical” about Carmen, for example). In this context, Hervé founded the Théâtre des Folies-Nouvelles in 1854, and Offenbach the Bouffes-Parisiens the following year: the two musicians invented the operetta, a new sub-genre characterised by a light, sentimental tone. Reducing opera to institutions and composers is however insufficient, its actors being also the librettists, singers, instrumentalists, publishers, critics, and even the political power and censorship: indeed, opera is no less than a whole continent of musical romanticism.

    Images - 250
  • Affiche pour Ascanio (Gallet / Saint-Saëns)
  • Affiche pour Dimitri (Silvestre & Bornier / Joncières)
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  • Affiche pour L'Attaque du moulin (Gallet / Bruneau)
  • Affiche pour L'Attaque du moulin (Gallet / Bruneau)
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    Works - 279
  • Aben-Hamet (Détroyat & Lauzières / Dubois)
  • Abou-Hassan (Castil-Blaze / Weber)
  • Adam (Gaillard / Le Sueur)
  • Adolphe et Clara ou Les Deux Prisonniers (Marsollier des Vivetières / Dalayrac)
  • Africaine, L’ (Scribe / Meyerbeer)
  • Alcade de la Vega, L’ (Bujac / Onslow)
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    Persons - 39
  • ADAM, Adolphe (1803-1856)
  • ADENIS, Jules (1823-1900)
  • ARNAUD, Simone (1850-1901)
  • AUBER, Daniel-François-Esprit (1782-1871)
  • BERNÈDE, Arthur (1871-1937)
  • BIZET, Georges (1838-1875)
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    Themes - 3
  • Institution – Opéra de Paris
  • Lieux de musique – Opéra Garnier
  • Lieux de musique – salle Le Peletier
  • Symposia - 12
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  • Exotisme et art lyrique (2012)
  • Henri Rabaud et son temps (2013)
  • The Fantastic in French Romantic Opera (2009)
  • Official Art in Musical France in the 19th Century (2010)
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    Studies - 3
  • Dratwicki, Alexandre – Juliette sans Roméo. Enquête autour d’un monologue apatride
  • Élart, Joann – Boieldieu en France de la Révolution française à la Première Guerre mondiale. Pour une étude des transferts culturels entre Paris e...
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  • Librettos - 2
  • Faust (Barbier & Carré)
  • Frédégonde (Louis Gallet)
  • Documents - 2
  • Blangini, Félix – Souvenirs (1834)
  • Joncières, Victorin – La question du Théâtre-Lyrique (1881)