François-Auguste Gevaert: between théâtre lyrique and opéra comique
Revue Belge de Musicologie, 64, .
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Gevaert’s operatic output spans a decade from his Georgette, ou Le moulin de Fontenoy (1853) to Le capitaine Henriot (1864). He worked with a narrow range of librettists over and over again: Cormon and Carré, Royer, Vaez, de Leuven and Prilleux, in opéras comiques in one and three acts both for the Théâtre Lyrique and Opéra Comique. A central question for his output is the relationship between librettist, insitution and and the works themselves. For example, Cormon and Carré collaborated with Gevaert exclusively at the Opéra Comique, and in three consecutive years, but in works as different as Quentin Durward, Le diable au moulin and Le château trompette. On the other hand, works for the Théâtre Lyrique were settings of libretti by well known pairs: Vaëz and Royer and De Leuven and Brunswick.
Reading Gevaert’s operatic output against a matrix of institution and librettist opens a window on the simultaneously overlapping and competing institutions represented by the Opéra Comique and Théâtre Lyrique in the middle of the Second Empire. It assists with coming to terms with the changes in the genre of opéra comique in the 1850s more usually attributed to Adam, Massé and Meyerbeer.
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