Master of Music (MM)



Document Type



Shortly before 1800, the publication of livrets de mise en scène, short manuals including information regarding costumes, set designs, and blocking (i.e., the movement of characters on stage), became increasingly popular in France. While theater scholars (Gösta M. Bergman, Marvin Carlson, Hellmuth Christian Wolff) have recognized the value of these documents for the history of staging (and blocking in particular), musicologists have tended to focus on their impact on visual aspects and realization of drama. Those who have looked at staging (H. Robert Cohen, Rebecca S. Wilberg, M. Elizabeth C. Bartlet) have largely ignored the period prior to 1827, possibly because livrets dating from that time are scarce.
Focusing on the livret of Rossini’s Le Siège de Corinthe (Opéra, 9 October 1826), recently made available through the work of H. Robert Cohen, this thesis reexamines the conventions of staging at the Opéra during the 1820s. It shows that staging had largely been rooted in Baroque conventions until ca. 1800, broke with these conventions between 1800 and 1827, and—after the appointment of the Comité de mises en scène (April 1827) and régisseur de la scène Jean-Pierre Solomé (September 1827)—consolidated the new conventions explored in Le Siège. Although the Comité and Solomé were instrumental in implementing these conventions, their influence has been overstated (Bartlet). This thesis shows that many of Solomé’s ideas were already being explored in Le Siège and thus cannot be exclusively attributed to the appointment of the Comité in 1827; rather, they are an extension of trends that had already been explored.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Andreas Giger



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Music Commons