Digital resources for French Romantic music

Soret, Marie-Gabrielle – Saint-Saëns' Les Barbares: power struggles




By 1900 several cities in southern France had taken to organising major open-air musical events, following the example of Béziers, whose festival, held in its arena, had proved a great success. Encouraged by the Félibrian movement and supported by the Direction des Beaux-Arts, the City of Orange planned to give regular performances in the fine setting of its Roman theatre, boasting its original stage wall and with a capacity of almost twelve thousand. Several productions had already been mounted there: plays and operas given in the summer by stars of the Parisian companies. This time, however, the idea was to create a ‘French Bayreuth’, and for that a large-scale operatic work needed be commissioned, one written specifically for the Roman theatre by authors whose reputations would draw the crowds.

From the CD-Book Les Barbares de Saint-Saëns (Palazzetto Bru Zane, collection Opéra français, 2014). Translation: Mary Pardoe.

    Person - 1
  • SAINT-SAËNS, Camille (1835-1921)
  • Work - 1
  • Barbares, Les (Sardou & Gheusi / Saint-Saëns)
  • Theme - 1
  • Institution – Opéra de Paris
  • Studies - 2
  • Soret, Marie-Gabrielle – Saint-Saëns and opera
  • Teulon Lardic, Sabine – À pleine voix et en plein air à Orange, Nîmes, Béziers : créations et reprises de Saint-Saëns (1894-1921)