The aim of this paper is to show the links between Handel’s London operas and the contemporary French tragédie en musique. Indeed, the subject matter of Handel’s « magic operas » is often the same as that of the French works, at least when they are not downright adaptations of them. Such links actually date back to the English semi-opera, a form which shares with the French traditions two major characteristics : an aesthetic, derived from court entertainments, that is very much based on the presence of ballet and expensive machinery; an appropriate subject-matter that lends itself to an allegorical reading glorifying both prince and hero. Both subject-matter and French influences correspond to a moralizing perspective that is ideally suited to the English poets’ intention to give the basically entertaining genre of the Italian opera a more edifying and elevated aim.
Migrations culturelles de l'histoire de la représentation aux XVIIIème et XIXème siècles en Europe
Université Catholique de l'Ouest, Angers
Présence de la tragédie en musique française dans les opéras londoniens de Handel