This article gives first some data on early French adaptations and translations of Schiller’s theatre, the reception of which reached its peak between 1821 and 1830. The fusion of classical and romantic elements favoured its understanding as (classical) tragedy without music, or as (romantic) melodrama, where music plays a prominent part. This is illustrated by the French versions of Guillaume Tell : Michel Pichat’s effort to transform Schiller’s drama in a regular French tragedy (1828) seems rather anachronistic. Later adaptors reinforce the pantomimic element and introduce tableaux in the manner of Diderot’s drame bourgeois. The model for these changes is rather Grétry’s opéra-comique (1791, text by M. Sedaine; text and music were revised for a new production in 1828) than Schiller’s drama. This is shown by examples from a « drame-vaudeville » by Dupeuty et Villeneuve (1828, music by A. Adam) and the « mélodrame » by Guilbert de Pixerécourt (1828).