L'Opéra français

Musiktheater zwischen Revolution und Moderne

General Editor: Paul Prévost

From the rich treasures of 19th century French opera, only a few works have remained in the repertoire to the present day: Carmen and Faust are the best-known. Other operas which were popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries both in France and further afield are waiting to be rediscovered.

This is particularly surprising when we realise how adventurous and varied the productions of the Parisian opera houses were at this time. The Opéra-Comique broke records both in terms of the high number of new works it staged, but also in terms of the frequency of their performances; the Grand Opéra assured the careers of the most famous French and foreign singers; the Théâtre Lyrique discovered young composers and contributed to an exceptional diversification of the genre; the opéra bouffe and operetta were the toast of the town. Composers including Cherubini, Méhul, Spontini, Boieldieu, Auber, Halévy, Adam, Thomas, Gounod, Lalo, Saint-Saëns, Delibes, Bizet, Chabrier, Massenet and others gained international reputations.

After the rediscovery of Baroque opera in the last two decades, interest in these dormant works of the past is now growing. In response to this, Bärenreiter plans to revive this rich body of work for modern performance and has embarked on the publication of the series L‘Opéra français. This will comprise critical editions of operas created in the period of great social upheaval between the Revolution and the outbreak of World War I. Works are included which are important from a musical and theatrical point of view, or characteristic of a style or genre.

The volumes meet the scholarly demands of a critical edition as well as the practical performance requirements of theatres and performers. All known sources have been consulted in preparing the editions. Due care and attention have been given to the layout of the scores and performing materials. The critical commentary enables users to consult the various sources of the works. Each volume contains a preface by the editor, the libretto, the orchestral score, a critical commentary on the musical text and wherever applicable appendices. Thus, Bärenreiter provides high quality scholarly-critical editions which make this repertoire available to theatres again, in all its diversity. With the series L‘Opéra français the music world can look forward to discovering unimagined treasures!

Each volume includes a preface (Fr/Eng/Ger) and a critical commentary (Fr or Eng). On the basis of this critical edition, Bärenreiter will be publishing performance material.

Publication Schedule

L‘Opéra français will comprise approx. 35 volumes.
Please find the already published volumes here.

Subscription Guidelines

The following purchasing options are available for this edition:

  • Purchase of individual volumes at retail sales prices
  • Full subscription (a price advantage of approx. 20 %)

For further information please ask your customer service.