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This paper aims at showing how contemporary adaptations of a single work contribute to disversifying the meaning of a given text. Indeed, the two English versions of Grétry and Sedaine’s Richard Cœur-de-lion (1784), both offered to the London public within a mere two weeks, display a radical change in interpretation and aesthetics. While the re-writing entrusted to William Shield and Leonard McNally (Covent Garden, 1786) stresses the staunch patriotism inherent in the work, Thomas Linley and John Burgoyne’s adaptation (Drury Lane, 1786) gives pride of the place to the romantic element of Grétry’s score. If the second version has usually been found superior, probably on account of its relative fidelity to the original, the first, notably in the development of the « meta-musical » components of the French text, displays a far higher degree of inventivness and creativity.
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Pierre Degott
Université de Metz
Création, re-création et/ou récréation : deux "traductions" anglaises de Richard Coeur-de-lion (1784)