Study Grant: The Rules of
Poetry, Declamation and Music at the classical Age
Rules of French Declamation
French declamation is not a topic, it
is a process. During more than a century, the non-ending dialog
between librettists and composers in France is the
process, through the constitution of the opera, of constituting
the language. The process of defining the rules of declamation
equals the process of putting them in practice.
Three important stages in the evolution
of French declamation are studied through the study of three
- the first one when Quinault and
Lully together transcribe tragic declamation style in Thesée;
- the second one when Voltaire and
Rameau confront their innovative ideas on the conception of Samson;
- the third one when Guillard and
Gluck re-integrate tragic style in opera declamation in Iphigénie
For the first study, I have been able
to lead his research in the perspective of a performance of the
work. With Boston Early Music Festival (June 2001), in the
production of Gilbert Blin, with conductors Paul O'Dette and
Stephen Stubbs, I studied and practiced the libretto of Lully's Thesée,
working both on the meaning of the text and on its sounding.
I coached the declamation for the chorus; for this purpose, I
made an analysis of XVIIth and XVIIIth century declamation and
pronunciation treatises, which I then put at the test of my own
practice to be able to interpret them.
This practical and scholarly first
approach has been undertaken and accomplished as a most useful
experience for the two next studies.
Discover the Bacilly study grant:
Who was Bacilly ?
Discover Bénigne de Bacilly on the
website www.virga.org (exemple de Bacilly en français