The centre point of this investigation of 'shifting sands' (that is, the perception of opéra-comique as a genre in the Romantic years) is Berlioz's 1836 article 'De l'Opéra Comique', issued in the 'Revue et gazette musical de Paris' on 18 September. Berlioz's text was a critical assessment of both genre and institution, including its regular public, and involved the interesting phrase 'le genre national', which had found an informal place in discourses of the time, but has not seemingly been subject to scrutiny itself. The story is taken back to 1801, when a new Opéra Comique company was recreated by the government out of its former incarnation and the bankrupted Théâtre Feydeau. Fundamental questions were debated: what was the real value of the genre, if it was to be 'national', yet obviously catered for unchallenged middlebrow taste? How should it be developed? What was its proper identity?
|Title of host publication||Reading Critics Reading|
|Subtitle of host publication||Opera and Ballet Criticism in France from the Revolution to 1848|
|Editors||Roger Parker, Mary Ann Smart|
|Place of Publication||Oxford|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|Number of pages||32|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|
- Opéra comique, nineteenth century popular theatre, Berlioz, criticism, genre.