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Nicolas-François Guillard (1752-1814) remains largely unknown to scholars specialised in eighteenth-century opera, even though he is usually presented as one of the best librettists of his time. The reason for such oblivion probably lies in the mode of writing favoured by Guillard – mainly the adaptation and transposition of pre-existing operatic works –, a principle to which he was to stick throughout his career.

This article aims at situating Iphigénie en Tauride within Nicolas-François Guillard’s work. His first success did indeed influence the conception and reception of his other “tragédies lyriques”, which were all composed after this model, according to the principle based on the suppression of ballets and amorous subplots. Iphigénie en Tauride was the apex of Gluck’s career and the beginning of Guillard’s, who, as early as the first performance, had made his mark as a librettist.

Les Lumières et la culture musicale européenne :
C.W. Gluck
Cécile Champonnois
Université de Montréal
Nicolas-François Guillard : un librettiste de Gluck encore méconnu