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Association Française pour le Rayonnement du Théâtre du Château de Drottningholm

Musical studies Des Orages

2000 Naumann

Poetry, declamation & music

2002 Dubos

2002 Raparlier   

2001 Bacilly

Poésie, musique & mise au théâtre

2004 Muzio

Musical programme Poetry, Declamation and Music at the classical Age 05/2002

Poetry, Declamation and Music at the classical Age programme focuses on the relation between text and music in opera at the Age of Enlightment. Projects concern the study of librettos. 

  • In 2001, researches were supported by the BACILLY Study Grant.

    • First libretto: Thesée by Quinault, with Boston Early Music Festival (June 2001), in the production by Gilbert Blin, with continuo leaders Paul O'Dette & Stephen Stubbs. Rémy-Michel Trotier has been studying and implementing the libretto of Lully's Thesée, approaching in the meantime the meaning and the sounding of this text. He coached declamation for the chorus; for this goal, he has been studying pronunciation and declamation treatises of the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries, that he has put at the test of his own practice in order to be able to interpret them. This first study gave a general overview of the kinds of relationships existing between a written and a declaimed text. 

    • Second libretto: Samson by Voltaire. This second study proposes an untypical and explorative approach of a text: the libretto chosen is the one of an opera which music is lost. Voltaire and Rameau wrote together an opera about the story of Samson, which was Rameau's first operatic composition and has been completed and rehearsed in 1732; but, because biblical subjects were forbidden on the stage of the opera just two weeks before the Première, the show was cancelled. Rameau is said (and declared himself) to have used a large part of the music in further pieces. The study is a proposal for a general method for reconstructing a lost piece, inspired by the destiny of this opera. The process is articulated in three steps, in relation with the three other studies led in the Programme: - first, a comparison with other librettos set in music by Rameau, on the basis of the rules of Quantité in declaimed texts, may allow to find music re-used by Rameau (AIRS & CHORUS); - second, a typology of the musical moments should help choosing INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC (dance parts, etc.); - third, the reference to artificial intelligence methods might allow oneself to imagine a process for reconstructing the music of the RECITATIVES, following Rameau's own writing manners.

  • Third libretto: Iphigénie en Tauride by Guillard. (RAPARLIER Study Grant) Many moments in this period of somehow one hundred and twenty years reveal the strong relation between the spoken declamation in theatre and the declamation notated in operas, the actors of the first one having inspired the composers of the second. This study focuses on a later example of this phenomenon with Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride: an article by Gilbert Blin already published in Drottningholms Slottsteater's program book in 1990 will be published in an extended version, together with a word-for-word translation of the libretto. The linking of both may allow the description of a method for singers who nowadays study this repertoire.

  • Fourth libretto: Le Carnaval de Venise by Regnard. (DUBOS Study Grant) After three studies dedicated to the study of sung texts in three different tragedies corresponding to three moments of time, it was necessary to wonder about the musical translation of un-sung written text. For this last approach, an opéra-ballet by Regnard and Campra has been chosen: Le Carnaval de Venise. The study will lead to a typology of the varied and contrasted dramatic situations, to be compared to the corresponding characterisations implemented by Campra.

Rémy-Michel Trotier
May 2002

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