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Bara, Olivier – Two operas for one novel




The relationship of Le Pré aux clercs and Les Huguenots to Mérimée’s novel Chronique du règne de Charles IX, the direct source of the opéra-comique and a more distant point of reference for the grand-opéra, sheds light on their respective and distinct dramaturgies. Is Mérimée’s work closer in spirit, in tone, in historical vision, to the ‘demi-caractère’ (semi-serious nature) of opéra-comique? Or did the violence of its story find spectacular fulfilment on the stage of the Opéra?

From the CD-Book Le Pré aux clercs d’Hérold (Palazzetto Bru Zane, collection Opéra français, 2016). Translation: Charles Johnston.