Digital resources for French Romantic music

Soret, Marie-Gabrielle – Saint-Saëns and opera




From the 1850s until his death in 1921 Saint-Saëns followed opera’s progress with keen interest. During his long career he witnessed its evolution as a spectator, but also as a composer. Opera was central to his concerns, as may be seen from his prolific writings (books, articles, prefaces and letters) containing many comments on works old and new, performers, repertoires, styles, aesthetics, institutions and their directors, and so forth. In founding the Société Nationale de Musique in 1871 to promote contemporary French music and its performance, Saint-Saëns became a spokesman for a new generation of French composers; then through his writings, his taste for controversy and his omnipresence in French musical life, he became ‘the true conscience of French opera’ (Hervé Lacombe, Les Voies de l’opéra français au XIXe siècle, Fayard, 1997, p. 13).

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 - 5
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  • Macdonald, Hugh J. – Le Timbre d’argent and its Transformations
  • Soret, Marie-Gabrielle – The genesis of Le Timbre d’argent
  • Soret, Marie-Gabrielle – Saint-Saëns' Les Barbares: power struggles