03 Nov 2006
A very political Querelle
The story of how one modest opera changed the face of France
Guy Dammann [Guardian, 3 November 2006]
On the first evening of August 1752, the audience of the most prestigious theatre in Paris witnessed an unusual lack of spectacle. With none of the lavish sets, enormous companies or elaborate stage machinery employed for its standard repertoire, and with the uneasy steps of a troupe of unknown Italian players more used to outdoor stages and provincial theatres, the boards of the Opéra played host to a modest production of a simple comic opera - La Serva Padrona by Pergolesi.