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French Opera at the Fin de Siecle$
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Steven Huebner

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195189544

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195189544.001.0001

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Introduction: The Business and Politics of Opera in Fin‐de‐Siècle Paris

Introduction: The Business and Politics of Opera in Fin‐de‐Siècle Paris

(p.1) Introduction: The Business and Politics of Opera in Fin‐de‐Siècle Paris
French Opera at the Fin de Siecle

Steven Huebner

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter begins with a discussion of the business and politics of French opera in the late 20th century. It describes government subsidies received by the two main Parisian houses: the Académie nationale de musique (the Opéra) and the Théâtre national de l'Opéra-Comique. It argues that at the fin de siècle, the stakes in value judgement, and the potential to touch deep-seated anxieties were particularly high at the Opéra because a fading court culture was mapped onto an institution heavily subsidized by a State which, however slowly, was reconfiguring both the remaining vestiges of the ancien régime and the more recent hegemony of the grande bourgeoisie. Richard Wagner, the composer around whom the stakes were the highest at both houses, is discussed.

Keywords:   French opera, Académie nationale de musique, Théâtre national de l'Opéra-Comique, subsidies, Richard Wagner

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