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Theater Music in France, 1864-1914 Peter Lamothe
Last Modified March 21, Creator Lamothe, Peter Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Music Abstract Incidental music served as a major outlet for composers during the latter half of the nineteenth century and the start of the twentieth century. This study examines the nature and significance of this oft-neglected genre. The topic is approached through five case studies meant to provide various cross-sections of noteworthy aspects of the genre over this fifty-year span.
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The approach to the case studies is twofold: through studies of the institutions which produced the most incidental music during this period, and through three productions which provide a variety of approaches with regard to their dates, theaters, compositional styles, and their respective places in their composers' careers. Parents: This work has no parents. Tweet Share. Master's Papers Deposit your masters paper, project or other capstone work.
This question of quality is addressed largely through the action of the two servants, Guillaume and Turlupin, whose masters want to bring them along into the troupe, but only as gagistes or necessaires, paid by the day to play minor roles while they continue to serve. Guillaume and Turlupin have other ideas, however, and refuse to come unless they are included as compagnons, sharing members.
At issue is not only the money but the quality and the title of monsieur. Monsieur de Beauchasteau, since you seem to have the opinion that my comrade and I should join your troupe, if this would not dishonor the theatre, it seems to me that you would lose no personal honor by giving us the monsieur. Bellerose then asks Gaultier and Boniface to approve the addition to the troupe of Monsieur Turlupin and Monsieur Guillaume.
Thats the way to talk to men of wit. Yes, yes, thats why were here. Turlupin told me. Monsieur Turlupin. You have trouble pronouncing that word monsieur? Monsieur Guillaume and Monsieur Turlupin, you will be satisfied. Finally even the Capitaine, the troupe snob, agrees, after Guillaume warns him: g u i l l a u m e You must say monsieur or we will call you simply capitaine.
Intimidated by this dreadful threat, monsieur le Capitaine, having vented his earlier anger at these men of vile condition on a lion, two tigers, and three giants, agrees and shakes their hands. As an officer and a gentleman, at least theoretically, the Capitaine enjoys a mode of address that joins a title to a state or profession.
One might also say monsieur le duc or monsieur le baron, or even monsieur le president to a high officer of the Parlement, a noble of the robe. Some lower-echelon lawyers and guild masters might be addressed as matre; in the rest of the third estate, however, men were often known only by 8.
Edouard Fournier, 2nd edn. Paris: La Place, , p.
Virginia Scott - Women on the Stage in Early Modern France [a] | Molière | Actor
According to the grammarian Cesar Du Marsais, for women the reference to trade or profession came to be understood, leading to the construction: article plus surname. In origin, the la was a mark of degradation only insofar as all non-nobles were degraded, but as the use of titles by the upper levels of the third estate became more widespread, refusing someone a title would be a way of demeaning him or her.
The adoption by actors of the title sieur and by actresses of the title mademoiselle, given the contempt for the profession displayed by the law and the church, made them easy targets for anyone who wanted to underscore their social undesirability. Georges de Scudery, who was proud of his own noble status, in his play also entitled La Comedie des comediens at first christens his actresses la Belle Espine and la Beau Soleil, but gives the latter a mlle in Act II, possibly because his gentleman character, M.
De Blandimare, addresses her as mademoiselle. Throughout the play, however, the actors address each other using formal titles, conforming to practice inside the theatre. An outsider, like the Baron in Poissons Le Poete basque, might speak of la Beauchateau, la Des illets, and la Valliot, but no actor-character would do so. Various aristocratic letter-writers and memoirists Mme de Sevigne, the duchesse dOrleans, the duc de St. The low point was reached when a pamphleteer accusing Armande Bejart of every sexual excess, including common prostitution, subtitled his work LHistoire de La Guerin; the article here assumes a whole new set of 9 10 Courbe, I, pp.
For the popular view of theatrical women, we need only consult the popular ballads. Jean-Nicolas de Tralage, who kept a notebook and scrapbook in the last years of the seventeenth century, was attracted to gossip and ballads about the theatre.
Princess Marthe Bibesco:
The eighteenth century was less given to the la, generally using mademoiselle, even when accusing an actress of unbecoming behavior. Private correspondents like Mlle Asse may have still written about la Lecouvreur, but the theatre historians Francois and Claude Parfaict and Godard de Beauchamps, the gossips Bachaumont and Colle, those like Allainval and Dumas dAigueberre who wrote appreciations, all use some variation of mademoiselle.
Even a police report of , describing a drunken brawl between two stars of the Comedie-Francaise, uses sieur and mlle. Thus, they almost always refer to their prey as la demoiselle Clairon or la demoiselle Gueant. The word fille was similarly 12 Cesare Garboli, ed. Text in French. LIntermediaire des Chercheurs et Curieux No. See throughout Francois Ravaisson-Mollien, ed. XII Paris: A. Durand and Pedone-Lauriel, On the other hand, it is fair to note that the majority of orders of reception, legal documents, and police reports collected by Emile Campardon pertaining to the actors and actresses of the ComedieFrancaise refer to them as le sieur and la demoiselle.
In a letter of December to M.
Thieriot he wrote: We are no longer of an age, you and I, where terms that are careless and without respect are agreeable to us. I never speak of M. Thieriot except as a man whom I esteem as much as I like. This mark of politeness distinguishes those who use it. Lemazurier in his Galerie, the first attempt to create a biographical dictionary of French actors, quotes Voltaire and absolutely rejects the usage of the la, which he finds a crude custom that has never agreed with French urbanity.
We have always doubted that the people who say la Dumesnil, la Clairon have enough education to judge Mlle Clairon and Mlle Dumesnil; the authority of Voltaire confirms us in our opinion. In modern usage, la seems to have been imported from the Italian, where it indicates divadom, a state even beyond stardom, which is wonderful. I shall, however, represent Voltaire, and shake my finger reprovingly. Under no circumstance will I ally myself with Tallemant des Reaux, or the chevalier de Mouhy, or all those anecdotalists and voyeurs who treated an actress as a thing to which a definite article can be applied: the door, the chair, the actress.
On the other hand. Poor Lemazurier, stuck in the nineteenth century, was conscious of all those anecdotes and shady tales and all those prurient readers poised to welcome a book that reprised them. Believing, however, there was gold among the dross, that within all the accounts, memoirs, collections of letters and anecdotes, gossip columns, and other publications of the eighteenth century on the subject of actors and actresses he would find enough valid information to construct individual biographies of all the societaires of the Comedie-Francaise from its beginning to the end of the 17 18 These women were also known as les demoiselles de spectacle and, if they found a sponsor, as les demoiselles entretenues.
Lemazurier, Galerie historique des acteurs du theatre francais Paris: Joseph Chaumerot, , Preface, vol. He assures his reader that no writer who respects morality and respects himself will permit himself to collect all the offensive trash to be found in the collections; we would never forgive ourselves for having conceived this work in such a way that it would find a place here.
While there are and have always been, since the establishment of the theatre, many actors whose conduct merits nothing but praise, as almost everywhere, there are exceptions; and to speak generally, if morals have taken refuge somewhere, it is hard to think that they have chosen the wings of the stage for their asylum. So, although there will be no disgusting images of license, there will be a few anecdotes, some morsels a little bit gai, a little uninhibited, since the lives of the actors, taken in general, do not make a work suitable for the young, and the book is destined only for those whose reason is formed.
Used originally to degrade women who were not born, applied to artisan wives, actresses, criminals, and prostitutes, the la also designates the actress an outsider, someone who found no niche in the elaborate construction of social norms that characterized the upper echelons of the ancien regime. Not, finally, a mademoiselle. Victim of the system? Not necessarily. Because actors and actresses, more often than not, have been and still are people who live outside the conventions of society, sometimes because they are excluded, sometimes because they so choose, because they are attracted to the advantages of the margins.
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The games played there are dicey, but the rewards are great. Actresses can be gifted with inexplicable talents, they can be different, dangerous, sexually magnetic, sometimes abnormally interesting, to borrow a phrase from Joseph Roach, who in studying the celebrity actress also coined the phrase public intimacy to account for her accessibility, which is illusory, and her appeal, which is part of her stock in trade. See also his It Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, for a fuller discussion of the constituents of celebrity.
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They had allure. They had it. I share something else with my predecessor Lemazurier. Like him I have concentrated, especially in the later part of the book, on Paris and on the actresses who performed in the major theatres: the Hotel de Bourgogne, the Theatre du Marais, the Petit-Bourbon and the Palais-Royal, the Hotel Guenegaud, the Comedie-Francaise. Although there is certainly information available about the actresses of the Comedie-Italienne, the Opera, the Opera Comique, the other fair theatres, and the provincial theatres, I decided to set my sights on the pinnacle, as it were, because the actresses who were most noticed and written about perched there, and because without this limitation the content of the book would have tended toward the broadly general and not have dwelt, as it does, on matters of specific interest to me.
I have had no intention to be exhaustive. This is not an A to Z, soup to nuts, everything there is to be said about actresses in France from to book. Rather, I have followed my nose and allowed my curiosity to guide me. I begin with the whole question of anecdotes and how to use them in writing about something that is largely characterized by anecdotal evidence, and throughout the book I am attentive to the creation and maintenance of the stereotype of the actress.
In Chapter 2 I explore some questions I have long had about the backgrounds of French antitheatricality in classical law and practice and in Roman Catholic thought, especially as applied to actresses. In Chapter 3, I revert to narrative history and summarize what can be known about the women who performed plays and the plays they performed in France before the establishment of the Paris theatres between and Chapter 4 includes, along with much of what can be known about the professional and personal lives of actresses in the second quarter of the seventeenth century, a discussion of a special group of plays, the early comedies of Corneille, In Chapter 5 I look carefully at several actresses who were stars or almost stars and speculate about how stars and celebrity influenced the now flourishing theatre.