This is a study of the rich operatic repertory written and performed in France during the last two decades of the 19th century. Steven Huebner offers an accessible and colourful account of such operatic favourites as "Manon" and "Werther" by Massenet, "Louise" by Charpentier, and lesser-known gems such as Chabrier's "Le Roi Malgr 'e Lui" and Chausson's "Le Roi Arthus". The text provides a survey of a repertory profoundly influenced by the music of Richard Wagner.
extremely informative about a period in French operatic history that has been relatively neglected in research. J. Girdham, Choice, Vol.37, No.11/12.
`Exhaustive research into contemporary newspapers, letters and documents ... gives useful factual information about the vicissitudes, both artistic and commercial, undergone by the operas analysed. The wealth of musical examples is beautifully printed.'
James Harding, BBC Music Magazine, February 2000
`Huebner's book is, without question, a major achievement ... the book's greatness lies in the fact that it makes you want to listen to familiar works with fresh ears, and re-examine the works of composers you may have passed over. Very highly recommended for all opera lovers, not just specialists.'
Tim Ashley, Musical Times, Winter 1999,