In recent years, interest in Rameau’s operas has grown enormously. These works are no longer regarded as peripheral by performers and audiences but are increasingly staged in the world’s major opera houses and festivals, while the production of first-rate recordings on CD and DVD continues to flourish. Such welcome developments have gone hand in hand with an upsurge in research on Rameau and his period. The present volume, devoted solely to the composer’s operas, reflects this scholarly activity. It brings together a substantial group of essays by an international team of scholars on a wide range of aspects of Rameau’s operas. The individual essays are informed by a variety of disciplines or sub-disciplines including literature, archival studies, musical analysis, gender studies, ballet and choreography, dramaturgy and staging. The contents are addressed to a wide readership, including not only scholars but also practical musicians, stage directors, dancers and choreographers.
Table of Contents
Part I – Factions and Rivalry
1 A little-known contribution to the Lulliste-Ramiste dispute: Jean Galli Bibiena’s Mémoires et aventures de monsieur de *** (1735)
2 Destouches and Collin de Blamont: two surintendants in the face of the Ramiste threat
Françoise Escande and Benoît Dratwicki
3 Rameau versus Mondonville: the construction of a post-Lullian musical identity in France
Part II – Librettos: Gestation, Attributions, Interpretation
4 Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Art d’aimer: music and eroticism in the Age of Enlightenment
5 Re-assessing attributions to Louis de Cahusac of the librettos of Rameau’s Io, Zéphire and Nélée et Mirthis
6 The Triumph of Generosity, or ‘Let’s Make an Opera-Ballet’
7 New light on the genesis of the ill-fated opera Linus by La Bruère and Rameau
Part III – Borrowings and Creative Renewal
8 A cluster of allusions to Vivaldi’s Le quattro stagioni in Rameau’s ‘Anacréon’ (1757)
9 Recreating Rameau: J.-S. Mangot and his role in Parma
10 An anonymous Messe des morts on themes by Rameau and Mondonville
11 ‘Objet d’étude et de curiosité’: Candeille’s Castor et Pollux and its audiences, 1791–1815
R. J. Arnold
Part IV – Production, Performance and Criticism
12 The impact of human and material contingencies on artistic creation: the case of Rameau’s Les Indes galantes
13 Staging time and space in Rameau’s tragédies en musique
14 Stage sets and music in Rameau’s operas
15 Do Rameau’s dances ‘impose physical movement’? A collaborative exploration
Rebecca Harris-Warrick and Hubert Hazebroucq
16 Through the Mercure’s lens: mid-eighteenth-century acting styles and vocal aesthetics at the Paris Opéra
Part V – Discography
17 Rameau’s operas on disc
Graham Sadler is a research professor at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and Emeritus Professor of Music at the University of Hull.
Shirley Thompson is Interim Principal of Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
Jonathan Williams is a leading Rameau specialist in Britain and director of the Rameau Project based at St Hilda’s College, Oxford.