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The Monte Carlo Period

Donald Macleod focuses on the final years of Massenet's career, which included a surprise flop and a new relationship with the theatre in Monte Carlo.

Operatic riches from Massenet's later career.

He was one of the most successful composers of his age. Jules Massenet gave his adoring audiences just what they wanted: beautiful melody, rich sentimentality, romance, fantasy and an unmistakably French sense of elegance. It was a formula that served him well into the twentieth century, over a prolific output of twenty-five opera productions. His accomplishments were the product of a rigid personal regime, often starting work at four o'clock in the morning, and continuing for sixteen hours a day. When he wasn't composing, Massenet could often be found supervising his current stage production, or coaching the latest in a long line of brilliant leading ladies. Whether the whiff of scandal that followed him throughout his career had any basis in fact is still a subject for debate. What is unarguable is that he provided some of the best female voices of the age with music that tested their talents to the very limit.

In this programme, Donald Macleod looks at the final years of Massenet's career, which included a surprise flop as his music came to be seen as increasingly old-fashioned, and a new relationship with the theatre in Monte Carlo.

1 hour

Last on

Fri 31 Jan 2014 18:30

Music Played

  • Jules Massenet

    Don Quichotte - opera in 5 acts (excerpt)

    Singer: Teresa Berganza. Orchestra: Toulouse Capitole Orchestra. Choir: Toulouse Capitole Chorus. Conductor: Michel Plasson.
    • EMI : 754-767-2.
    • EMI.
    • 2.
  • Jules Massenet

    Griselidis - opera (excerpt Act 2)

    Singer: Brigitte Desmoues. Singer: Michèle Command. Singer: Claire Larcher. Singer: Jean-Philippe Courtis. Choir: Lyon Opera Chorus. Orchestra: Franz Liszt Academy S O. Conductor: Patrick Fournillier.
    • Koch Schwann: 312702.
    • Koch Schwann.
    • 5.
  • Jules Massenet

    Le Jongleur de Notre-Dame - opera in 3 acts (excerpt)

    Performer: Alain Vanzo. Conductor: Pierre Dervaux. Singer: Jules Bastin. Orchestra: French R S O.
    • Le Chant du Monde: LDC27891112.
    • Le Chant du Monde.
    • 4.
  • Jules Massenet

    Cherubin - comedie chantee in 3 acts Excerpt Act 1;

    Conductor: Pinchas Steinberg. Singer: Frederica von Stade. Singer: Samuel Ramey. Singer: Dawn Upshaw. Singer: Jean-Marc Ivaldi. Singer: Helene Garetti. Choir: Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper. Orchestra: Munich Philharmonic Orchestra.
    • RCA : 09026-60593-2.
    • RCA.
    • 7.
  • Jules Massenet

    Don Quichotte - opera Excerpt Act 5 The Death of Don Quichotte

    Singer: José van Dam. Singer: Teresa Berganza. Singer: Alain Fondary. Orchestra: Toulouse Capitole Orchestra. Choir: Toulouse Capitole Chorus. Conductor: Michel Plasson.
    • EMI : 754-767-2.
    • EMI.
    • 12.

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