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Staging of the Paragone debate within a French Baroque opera.

By on Mar 18, 2023 in History of ideas, Music, Painting, Paragone, Poetry | 2 comments

At the end of the XVIth century, a group of Florentine writers and musicians gathered under the auspices of Count Bardi to recover the ancient splendour of classical Greek drama. They specifically sought to integrate verse into a new musical style based on recitative, combining speech and song into musical cadences. Bardi and his friends may not have been fully aware of it, but they were inventing opera. Exactly one century later, another son of Florence would ironically be called upon to lay the foundations of quintessentially French opera. It was the composer Jean-Baptiste Lully, born in 1632 as Giovanni Battista Lulli, who, in collaboration with the playwright Philippe Quinault, created the template for all subsequent trag├ędies lyriques, as this form of musical theatre was named, until the arrival of Jean Philippe Rameau in 1733. The new musical genre born with the opera Cadmus et...