National Library of France
Philippe Chaperon, sketch for Rigoletto, G. Verdi, 1885 and sketch for Tannhäuser, R. Wagner, 1861 / Giovanni Boldini, Portrait of R. Wagner, towards 1885 © BnF | Graphic design Patricia Chapuis
BnF, Opera Library
every day from 10.00am to 5.00pm
Full price: 10 €
Reduced price: 6 €
from December 17, 2013 to March 16, 2014 Opéra Library
The tumultuous relationships between Giuseppe Verdi, Richard Wagner and the Paris Opera have already been the subject of several exhibitions, particularly at the Palais Garnier. Yet, none of these has ever focused on each of the composers’ relationships with the ‘Grande boutique’. However, these contemporary artists brought to the Opera a novel conception of both the operatic genre and the stage; their ideas were partly similar and they worked with the same persons. The institution was managed by Alphonse Royer (1856-1862) when Le Trouvère and Tannhäuser entered the répertoire, on January the 12th, 1857 and March the 13th, 1861, respectively.
Would it not therefore make sense to consider the influence of the composers as a whole, in order to understand how the Opera sometimes accepted their new ideas and sometimes rejected or transformed them? The relationships enjoyed by Verdi and Wagner with the Paris Opera are also subject to institutional, artistic, economic and political issues that remain long after the composers’ deaths. The directors’ artistic ambitions and wishes for modernity are linked to the growing interactions between the Opera’s repertoire and both Verdi’s and Wagner’s works; as well as the evolution of diplomatic relations between France, Germany and Italy (due mainly to the two world conflicts that mark the 20th century), and the growing budget dedicated to performing arts.
The 200th anniversary of the birth of both composers allows the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the Paris Opera to show how the latter regularly re-examines the place of Verdi and Wagner’s monumental and reforming work in the repertoire. The exhibition’s opening coincides with the original opening night of Verdi’s Jerusalem in 1847, and ends with the full cycle of Richard Wagner’s L’Anneau du Nibelung in 2013
The guided tours include a general visit of the theatre with a presentation detailing its history, its architecture and the different activities that take place within it.More info on the Opéra de Paris website
Monday, September 30, 2013