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The imaginary Middle Ages of the opera house: when the Jacques were honest fellows

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When the two Édouards – Lalo, the composer, and Blau, his librettist – got to grips with Prosper Mérimée’s La Jaquerie, scènes féodales, they made some notable adjustments to it. Indeed, ‘adjustments’ is putting it mildly, for the retouches affected even the title of the piece: the archaising tone intended by Mérimée (Jaquerie without a ‘c’) was – in the most literal meaning of the verb – corrected to conform with modern French spelling. In itself, the insertion of this consonant reveals two very different visions of the peasant revolt and, more generally, of the Middle Ages: on the one hand, the Middle Ages of the historian (Mérimée); on the other, the Middle Ages of the storyteller (Lalo, Blau, Coquard).

CD-Book Édouard Lalo / Arthur Coquard. La Jacquerie (2016). Translation: Charles Johnston.

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Related works

La Jacquerie

Édouard LALO Arthur COQUARD


Édouard BLAU Simone ARNAUD


Related persons


Édouard LALO

(1823 - 1892)


Édouard BLAU

(1836 - 1906)


publication date : 08/01/24