Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Opera and the Political Imaginary in Old Regime France$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Olivia Bloechl

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226522753

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226522890.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 27 July 2021

Choral Lament and the Mourning Public

Choral Lament and the Mourning Public

Chapter:
(p.53) Chapter Two Choral Lament and the Mourning Public
Source:
Opera and the Political Imaginary in Old Regime France
Author(s):

Olivia Bloechl

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226522890.003.0003

This chapter focuses on the collective nature of ancien régime mourning as this was imagined in the choral laments and fictional onstage funerals in tragédies en musique. It begins by contextualizing public mourning practice in Paris under the Bourbons. State funerals were reserved for people of dynastic or political significance, and the process was highly formalized, down to the behavior of attendees at funerary events. Participation in public mourning was semi-compulsory, and display of appropriate feeling was understood as a public duty. Turning to public mourning scenes in opera, the author surveys lament choruses across the repertory, from Lully through Rameau and Dauvergne through Lemoyne. Analyses of earlier choruses focus on the hierarchical organization of onstage mourning but also illustrate affective divisions between subgroups of the lamenting chorus. Choruses in later operas respond to changing ideals of public participation, and their mourning collectives resemble the patriotic, active public of the last third of the eighteenth century. However, the publicness of later lamenting choruses remained fundamentally conservative, as choral groups assumed a melancholy attachment to monarchical authority even in the 1780s.

Keywords:   mourning, tragédie en musique, publicness, lament chorus, affect, funerals, Lully, Rameau, Dauvergne, Lemoyne

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.