Analysis Of Jean-Baptiste Lully's Tragedie-Lyrique Armide

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Introductory paragraph Jean-Baptiste Lully created a unique French opera and his tragedie-lyrique Armide is a prime example of his use of French tradition. French opera was exceedingly different in performance practice from Italian opera. At the beginning of the eighteenth-century, Francois Raguenet and Jean-Laurent Lecerf published treatises criticizing and praising French style opera. Their praise and criticism can be applied to Lully’s Armide to demonstrate the controversial issues raised by Raguenet and Lecerf. French tradition and King Louis XIV’s absolute monarchy are foremost influencers of Lully’s tragedie-lyrique. Lully’s Armide exemplifies these influences in the arias, recitatives, and the overture. The controversies emanate from Jean-Baptiste Lully’s French opera Armide in comparison to the Italian opera practices of the Baroque period. Opera Practice in Italy and France By the middle of the seventeenth…show more content…
Known as tragedie-lyrique, French opera, in contradiction to Italian opera, placed the tragedy first in importance and then set the drama to music (Grout and Williams). Thus, priority was placed upon the words and the music came second in significance. The arias were less extravagant and less performer based. Dance pervaded the opera in adherence to the unique French tradition of ballet de cour, court ballet. In order to follow the general contours of the French language, the French recitative had many more meter changes than the Italian recitative. King Louis XIV’s absolute monarchy influenced the French opera as well. An unmistakably French overture began each opera with the majesty and splendor fit for King Louis XIV in order to welcome and signify his entrance (Bukholder, et al. 361). Overall, French Baroque operas were characterized by their restraint according to naturalism, an adherence to the text, and less importance placed on

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