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The birth of Gluck’s Orfeo in 1762 is much more akin to a renewal of drama than to a definitive break from the opera seria genre. Not only are the structures of Italian drama questioned, they also partake in the development of Gluck’s new principles. As far as the emergence of the composer’s thought is concerned, Iphigénie en Tauride is probably the most accomplished of all of the Parisian operas, and perhaps this is the reason why this particular piece establishes a close link with the opera seria. From the relinquishment of the traditional aria da capo to its concise and powerful adaptation, from the new melodic treatment to the renewal of previous works, Gluck smoothes down the previous conflicts with Italian opera. He posits himself as the witness of a formidable evolution of the dramatic forces previously handled for an opera mainly turned towards the predominance of sentiment.

Les Lumières et la culture musicale européenne :
C.W. Gluck
Julien Garde
Université Jean-Monnet de Saint-Etienne
Iphigénie en Tauride et l’opera seria : entre renoncement et conciliation