Grétry and the growth of opéra-comique

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Grétry's life and his operas with spoken dialogue up to 1791 are discussed in discrete chapters, so that detailed information about characters, plots, music and performance history is available. However, a parallel narrative is built up concerning the expansion of opéra-comique in Paris, centred on the Comédie-Italienne/Opéra Comique. Thus the fortunes of works by Martini, Dezède, Monsigny, Philidor, Dalayrac and others are compared, and various tables provide comparative performance totals for each decade. Separate discussions are offered concerning the overtures of Grétry's opéras-comiques. Each opera is followed by a contextual discussion focusing either on issues in contemporary history affecting the relevant work, or by a discussion of musical procedures of interest, not least Grétry's evolution of a method of 'functional recollection' within a given work, something that would lead towards the Romantic period's use of motivic recollection and organisation in opera.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages371
ISBN (Print)052125129
Publication statusPublished - 1986


  • Grétry, opera, Paris, Comédie-Italienne, singers, French history

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