New Publication: 'Rousseau on stage: playwright, musician, spectator',

19 September, 2017 by Chris Collins | 0 comments

New Publication: 'Rousseau on stage: playwright, musician, spectator',

edited by Maria Gullstam and Michael O’Dea

Following his opposition to the establishment of a theatre in Geneva, Jean-Jacques Rousseau is often considered an enemy of the stage. Yet he was fascinated by drama: he was a keen theatre-goer, his earliest writings were operas and comedies, his admiration for Italian lyric theatre ran through his career, he wrote one of the most successful operas of the day, Le Devin du village, and with his Pygmalion, he invented a new theatrical genre, the Scène lyrique (‘melodrama’). Through multi-faceted analyses of Rousseau’s theatrical and musical works, authors re-evaluate his practical and theoretical involvement with and influence on the dramatic arts, as well as his presence in modern theatre histories. 


List of illustrations

Jean-Jacques Rousseau: a theatre and music chronology

Maria Gullstam and Michael O’Dea, Introduction: ‘La vérité est que Racine me charme’


Part I. Rousseau as theorist of theatre and opera

1. The anthropological foresight of the Lettre sur les spectacles, Felicity Baker

2. The dramaturgy of Rousseau's Lettre à d’Alembert and its importance for modern theatre, Patrick Primavesi

3. The voice of nature in Rousseau’s theatre: reconstructing a dramaturgy, Jørgen Langdalen

4. Rousseau’s Pygmalion and the limits of (operatic) expression, Jacqueline Waeber


Part II. Rousseau as playwright

5. Pygmalion’s power struggles: Rousseau, Rameau and Galathée, Maria Gullstam

6. Rousseau and his early comedies: the concept of the comic, Marie-Emmanuelle Plagnol-Diéval

7. Rousseau’s Pygmalion and the theatre of autobiography, David Marshall


Part III. Rousseau’s operatic and theatrical posterity

8. The melodic language of Le Devin du village and the evolution of opéra-comique, David Charlton

9. Rousseau’s ghost: Le Devin du village at the Paris Opera, 1770-1779, Michael O’Dea

10. A theatrophobic dramatist: J.-J. Rousseau’s position in theatre historiography and on today’s stage, Willmar Sauter

11. The judgement of Rousseau: Paride ed Elena by Gluck and Calzabigi (Vienna, 1770), Magnus Tessing Schneider






September 2017, Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment

ISBN 978-0-7294-1199-8, xxx+310 pages, 40 ills


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