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In few words:
Intimately linked to a period – the 19th century, and to a city – Paris, French Grand Opera is characterised by sumptuous scenography and the inclusion of a ballet. During the Second Empire, Cherubini’s Médée and Spontini’s La Vestale were pioneering works.
In 1828, Auber’s La Muette de Portici marked the true birth of French grand Opera. Rossini too tried his hand at the genre with Guillaume Tell but it was Meyerbeer who won grand opera its laurels with the triple triumphs of Robert le Diable, Les Huguenots and Le Prophète.
Giving pride of place to historical subjects, Grand Opera also expressed the passions of the times: the France of Louis-Philippe, under the influence of personalities like Mérimée, Guizot and Viollet-Le‑Duc, went in search of its past and its heritage. An endeavour magnified by music and dance. Paintings, set models and manuscripts offer a spectacular voyage through these years of operatic creation.
- Romain Feist
- Marion Mirande
Bibliothèque nationale de FranceEn savoir plus
About the work
“Grand Opera, 1827-1867. History Made Spectacular”
Timepiece of the Paris Opera
Sponsor of La Traviata
Partner of the Opera’s 350th Anniversary Gala