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French opera ( 1670-1750)

French opera was founded by Robert Cambert ( with his "Pomone" 1671  you tube  score) και Jean- Baptiste Lully (with his operas: "Cadmus et Hermione" 1673  score / "Atys" 1676  you tube   score / "Amadis" 1684 you tube  score / "Armide" 1686  you tube  score). Although  Italian operas  had already been performed in France between 1645 and 1662, the French audience  was  slow to familiarize with this form. This was  partly due to the fact that the French were happy with their own "lyric tragedy" and   ballet; they thought that  these could not be combined in any way with the Italian style.

The contribution of Lully in the French opera

Lully  combined some elements from ballets, tragedy and pastorale into a kind of opera named "tragedie lyrique".  Compared with the Italian opera, in French 1) the drama was of greater importance. Lully considered that  faster development of the plot  suited better  to the French audience. 2)There  was much time and space for ballets, dances and generally spectacular scenes. 3) There was much more orchestral music  4) There were small and simple songs of dance character  instead of artful arias. 5) Lully used a special kind of recitative, combing the ordinary type of  recitative with the  aria to give a more dramatic tone.  6) Ηe also  used  the French Overture
Many believe that Lully introduced oboe and bassoon in the orchestra; this belief has not adequately researched.
This type of opera remained unaltered by later composers, including Rameau. Lully operas reflect the  flourishing of the genre before Gluck.

resources
Willi Apel, Harvard dictionary of music, second edition, eighth printing

                                  Jean Baptiste Lully 1670 Le Bourgeois

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