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Opera in the French Revolution

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V. Johnson, Backstage at the Revolution: How the Royal Paris Opéra Survived the End of the Old Regime
(University of Chicago Press, 2009)
Charles T. Downey, Opera Lafayette delves into the French Revolution
Washington Post, May 1

The French Revolution changed many things beyond political systems, from a short-lived reorganization of the calendar to the invention of the metric system. The Paris Opera, that most royal of institutions, somehow continued to mount productions throughout the turbulence. Opera Lafayette, the D.C.-based period-instrument ensemble focused on 18th-century French opera, closed out its season by presenting three long excerpts from French operas of the Revolutionary period, heard on Friday evening at Lisner Auditorium.

Victoria Johnson, in her book about the Opera during the revolution, quotes a company log from the year 1789. It records the violent death of finance minister Joseph Foullon de Doué on July 22, whose “head was cut off and body paraded and dragged through the streets”... [Continue reading]
Opera Lafayette
Music by Sacchini, Martini, Cherubini
Lisner Auditorium

Charles T. Downey, Sacchini's Œdipe à Colone (Ionarts, May 15, 2005)

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