New Light on the Bouffons in Paris, 1752-1754

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Ever since 1753, the history of the eighteen-month residence of the troupe of Eustachio Bambini at the Paris Opéra has been intertwined with accounts of the war of words over the future of French opera, known as the Querelle des Bouffons. Recent work has moved to reconfigure this episode by focusing on Bambini's productions, avoiding the polemical discussions. New documents are brought together here from both primary and secondary sources, starting with the discovery of a 90-page inventory that charts the first known contacts between Bambini and the Opéra management. A group of Bambini's invoices is also transcribed for the first time, as is an Arrêt du Conseil du Roi previously unknown, defending Bambini against distraints exercised by the impresario Rousselet. New performance figures for the Bambini troupe have been calculated by using Aubert's journal, Annonces, Affiches et Avis divers. These strengthen the supposition of Andrea Fabiano, namely that only by ignoring polemics and press reviews can the true degree of support by the Opéra of the Bambini troupe be objectively assessed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEighteenth-Century Music
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Paris, opera, intermezzo, Bouffons, Querelle des Bouffons

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