The Genial Hero: Creative Artists in French Opera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Recent theatre research has uncovered numerous plays in France that featured writers as subjects, especially between 1784 and 1834. More than a few operas about artists and writers were also written, dating as far back as 1700 (La Peinture, from Le Triomphe des arts, composed by Michel de La Barre) and as far forward as 1838 (Berlioz, Benvenuto Cellini) and 1850 (Thomas's Le Songe d'une nuit d'été--which Berlioz actually reviewed). Significant structural links between them can be analysed, especially the notion of the incomplete artwork that must be completed. The opera which comes closest to Benvenuto Cellini in style and subject matter is Michel-Ange, by Isouard, almost certainly seen by Berlioz in the 1820s.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-45
Number of pages17
JournalThe Berlioz Society Bulletin
Issue number221
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2024
Event2023 Annual Conference of the Berlioz Society - Art Workers' Guild, Queen Square, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 25 Nov 202326 Nov 2023


  • Opera
  • France
  • Analysis
  • Artists
  • Apelles
  • Milton
  • Cellini
  • Shakespeare

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