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This study of Chabanon and Gossec’s « tragédie lyrique » Sabinus was made after consulting the ledgers for the celebrations of the wedding of the Comte d’Artois, the future Charles X, in late 1773 ; those documents are kept at the Archives Nationales de France. Their perusal and analysis, the study of the various accounts of those ceremonies, plus the reading of Chabanon’s correspondence with Voltaire and Hennin, all reveal the long and difficult genesis of the work: written as a tragedy, it was later adapted into a libretto. What also comes out is the hesitation as to the choice of composer, plus the magnificence of the Paris and Versailles performances, at least in terms of scenery, costumes, dancing, singing and music-playing. This article concludes on the huge success of the work, actually performed eleven times, despite the opinion of certain eighteenth- century critics and contemporary musicologists.
Michel-Paul-Guy de Chabanon et ses contemporains
Cécile Champonnois
Université deMontréal
La magnificence de Sabinus, tragédie lyrique de M.P.G. de Chabanon et J.F. Gossec