St. Thaïs of fourth-century Roman Alexandria and of the Egyptian desert was a repentant courtesan. St. Thaïs lived during the fourth century in Roman Egypt, her story is included in hagiographic literature on the lives of the saints in the Greek church. Two such biographical sketches exist; the first, in Greek originated during the fifth century. It was translated into Latin as the Vita Thaisis by Dionysius Exiguus during the sixth or the seventh century; the other sketch comes to us in medieval Latin from Marbod of Rennes. Thaïs appears in Greek martyrologies by Maurolychus and Greven, not in Latin martyrologies; the lives of the desert saints and hermits of Egypt, including St. Thaïs, were collected in the Vitae Patrum. There has emerged a modern theory that suggests she is a legend deriving from "probably only a moral tale invented for edification." The saint shares her name with another Thaïs of wide notoriety in the Hellenistic world, many hundreds of years before. Of Ancient Athens, she had traveled to Persia with the campaign of Alexander.
Notwithstanding, St. Thaïs remains on the Calendar of the Catholic Church, with her feast day being celebrated October 8. In 1901 the Egyptologist Albert Gayet announced the discovery near Antinoë in Egypt of the mummified remains of St. Thaïs and Bishop Sérapion; the two mummies were exhibited at the Musée Guimet in Paris. Shortly thereafter he qualified his identification, leaving open the possibility that the remains were not those of these two saints. Thaïs is first described as wealthy and beautiful, a courtesan living in the cosmopolitan city of Alexandria, yet in the eyes of the church she was a public sinner. Thaïs, makes inquires about the Christian religion and converts. In her Vita a monk in disguise pays for entry into her chambers in order to challenge her and convert her, yet he finds that she believes in God, from whom nothing is hidden; the identity of this person who instructs and offers Thaïs ways of spiritual transformation is unclear, three names being mentioned: St. Paphnutius, St. Bessarion, St. Serapion.
Following her acceptance into the Church, Thaïs is shown a convent cell where she is provisioned for three years. During her years of solitude she performs penance for her sins; when she emerges, it is said, she lives among the nuns of the Egyptian desert only for a brief period of fifteen days, before she dies. Traditional pictures of Thaïs show her in two different scenes: Burning her ornaments. Praying in a convent cell, with a scroll on, written "Thou who didst create me have mercy on me." Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim, a Benedictine Canoness of Saxony, wrote in Latin the play Pafnutius in which St. Thaïs appears. Despite the title, she is the principal character of interest; the play, of course, places the story in a European dress and within a medieval European spirituality. Here is St. Paphnutius addressing the abbess of the desert convent, concerning care for their new convert Thaïs: "I have brought you a half-dead little she-goat snatched from the teeth of wolves. I hope that by your compassion shelter will be insured, that by your care, will be cured, that having cast aside the rough pelt of a goat she will be clothed with the soft wool of the lamb."During the European Middle Ages, historical evidence indicates a widespread popularity for the life story of St. Thaïs.
During the Renaissance, the Spanish painter Jusepe de Ribera, whose career was spent in Naples, produced his composition. After the distinctive artistic lead of Gustave Flaubert in his La tentation de Saint Antoine, there followed, in a decidedly more skeptical, yet still historic-religious vein, the French novel Thaïs; this inspired the French opera Thaïs. Followed the London play Thais, the Hollywood film Thais, the Franco-Rumanian statue Thaïs. France's Thaïs is an historical novel written by Anatole France. Thaïs was translated into 18 languages; when France died, "he was certainly the most admired author in the Western world," yet since his approach became dated, his reputation fell. Paphnuce is an ascetic hermit of the Egyptian desert, he determines to convert Thais, a libertine beauty whom he knew as a youth, journeys to Alexandria to find her. Masquerading as a dandy, he is able to speak with her about eternity, yet on their return to the desert he is fascinated by her former life. Thaïs enters a convent under the care of the elderly nun Albina.
Paphnuce returns to his desert hut and fellow cenobites, but encounters emptiness and is haunted by "a little jackal". He can not forget the pull of her famous beauty; as she is dying and can only see heaven opening before her, he comes to her side and tells her that her faith is an illusion, that he loves her. Massenet's Thaïs is an opera "comédie lyrique" first performed March 16, 1894, at the Opéra Garnier in Paris; the music by Jules Massenet employs the prose libretto written by Louis Gallet. It draws on the novel by Anatole France. Massenet's music was termed romantic, his being melodic, poetic, melancholy, "traits of the French lyric theater at its best"; the opera omits the novel's skeptical chapter on the vanity of philosophy. The hermit's name was changed to Athanaël, presented with grea
The Roman Empire was the post-Roman Republic period of the ancient Roman civilization. Ruled by emperors, it had large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus. From the constitutional reforms of Augustus to the military anarchy of the third century, the Empire was a principate ruled from the city of Rome; the Roman Empire was ruled by multiple emperors and divided in a Western Roman Empire, based in Milan and Ravenna, an Eastern Roman Empire, based in Nicomedia and Constantinople. Rome remained the nominal capital of both parts until 476 AD, when Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustus after capturing Ravenna and the Roman Senate sent the imperial regalia to Constantinople; the fall of the Western Roman Empire to barbarian kings, along with the hellenization of the Eastern Roman Empire into the Byzantine Empire, is conventionally used to mark the end of Ancient Rome and the beginning of the Middle Ages. The previous Republic, which had replaced Rome's monarchy in the 6th century BC, became destabilized in a series of civil wars and political conflict.
In the mid-1st century BC Julius Caesar was appointed as perpetual dictator and assassinated in 44 BC. Civil wars and proscriptions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesar's adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC; the following year Octavian conquered Ptolemaic Egypt, ending the Hellenistic period that had begun with the conquests of Alexander the Great of Macedon in the 4th century BC. Octavian's power was unassailable and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power and the new title Augustus making him the first emperor; the first two centuries of the Empire were a period of unprecedented stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana. It reached its greatest territorial expanse during the reign of Trajan. A period of increasing trouble and decline began with the reign of Commodus. In the 3rd century, the Empire underwent a crisis that threatened its existence, but was reunified under Aurelian. In an effort to stabilize the Empire, Diocletian set up two different imperial courts in the Greek East and Latin West.
Christians rose to power in the 4th century following the Edict of Milan in 313 and the Edict of Thessalonica in 380. Shortly after, the Migration Period involving large invasions by Germanic peoples and the Huns of Attila led to the decline of the Western Roman Empire. With the fall of Ravenna to the Germanic Herulians and the deposition of Romulus Augustulus in 476 AD by Odoacer, the Western Roman Empire collapsed and it was formally abolished by emperor Zeno in 480 AD; the Eastern Roman Empire, known in the post-Roman West as the Byzantine Empire, collapsed when Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks of Mehmed II in 1453. Due to the Roman Empire's vast extent and long endurance, the institutions and culture of Rome had a profound and lasting influence on the development of language, architecture, philosophy and forms of government in the territory it governed Europe; the Latin language of the Romans evolved into the Romance languages of the medieval and modern world, while Medieval Greek became the language of the Eastern Roman Empire.
Its adoption of Christianity led to the formation of Christendom during the Middle Ages. Greek and Roman art had a profound impact on the late medieval Italian Renaissance, while Rome's republican institutions influenced the political development of republics such as the United States and France; the corpus of Roman law has its descendants in many legal systems of the world today, such as the Napoleonic Code. Rome's architectural tradition served as the basis for Neoclassical architecture. Rome had begun expanding shortly after the founding of the republic in the 6th century BC, though it did not expand outside the Italian peninsula until the 3rd century BC, it was an "empire" long before it had an emperor. The Roman Republic was not a nation-state in the modern sense, but a network of towns left to rule themselves and provinces administered by military commanders, it was ruled, not by annually elected magistrates in conjunction with the senate. For various reasons, the 1st century BC was a time of political and military upheaval, which led to rule by emperors.
The consuls' military power rested in the Roman legal concept of imperium, which means "command". Successful consuls were given the honorary title imperator, this is the origin of the word emperor since this title was always bestowed to the early emperors upon their accession. Rome suffered a long series of internal conflicts and civil wars from the late second century BC onward, while extending its power beyond Italy; this was the period of the Crisis of the Roman Republic. Towards the end of this era, in 44 BC, Julius Caesar was perpetual dictator before being assassinated; the faction of his assassins was driven from Rome and defeated at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC by an army led by Mark Antony and Caesar's adopted son Octavian. Antony and Octavian's division of the Roman world between themselves did not last and Octavian's forces defeated those of Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, ending the Final War of the Roman Republic. In 27 BC the Senate and People of Rome made Octavian princeps ("first citi
Egypt (Roman province)
The Roman province of Egypt was established in 30 BC after Octavian defeated his rival Mark Antony, deposed Pharaoh Cleopatra, annexed the Ptolemaic Kingdom to the Roman Empire. The province encompassed most of modern-day Egypt except for the Sinai Peninsula. Aegyptus was bordered by the provinces of Crete and Cyrenaica to Judea to the East; the province came to serve as a major producer of grain for the empire and had a developed urban economy. Aegyptus was by far the wealthiest Eastern Roman province, by far the wealthiest Roman province outside of Italia. In Alexandria, its capital, it possessed the largest port, the second largest city of the Roman Empire; as a key province, but the'crown domain' where the emperors succeeded the divine Pharaohs, Egypt was ruled by a uniquely styled Praefectus augustalis, instead of the traditional senatorial governor of other Roman provinces. The prefect was appointed by the Emperor; the first prefect of Aegyptus, Gaius Cornelius Gallus, brought Upper Egypt under Roman control by force of arms, established a protectorate over the southern frontier district, abandoned by the Ptolemies.
The second prefect, Aelius Gallus, made an unsuccessful expedition to conquer Arabia Petraea and Arabia Felix. The Red Sea coast of Aegyptus was not brought under Roman control until the reign of Claudius; the third prefect, Gaius Petronius, cleared the neglected canals for irrigation, stimulating a revival of agriculture. Petronius led a campaign into present-day central Sudan against the Kingdom of Kush at Meroe, whose queen Imanarenat had attacked Roman Egypt. Failing to acquire permanent gains, in 22 BC he razed the city of Napata to the ground and retreated to the north. From the reign of Nero onward, Aegyptus enjoyed an era of prosperity. Much trouble was caused by religious conflicts between the Greeks and the Jews in Alexandria, which after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 became the world centre of Jewish religion and culture. Under Trajan a Jewish revolt occurred, resulting in the suppression of the Jews of Alexandria and the loss of all their privileges, although they soon returned.
Hadrian, who twice visited Aegyptus, founded Antinopolis in memory of his drowned lover Antinous. From his reign onward buildings in the Greco-Roman style were erected throughout the country Under Antoninus Pius oppressive taxation led to a revolt in 139, of the native Egyptians, suppressed only after several years of fighting; this Bucolic War, led by one Isidorus, caused great damage to the economy and marked the beginning of Egypt's economic decline. Avidius Cassius, who led the Roman forces in the war, declared himself emperor in 175, was acknowledged by the armies of Syria and Aegyptus. On the approach of Marcus Aurelius, Cassius was deposed and killed and the clemency of the emperor restored peace. A similar revolt broke out in 193, when Pescennius Niger was proclaimed emperor on the death of Pertinax; the Emperor Septimius Severus gave a constitution to Alexandria and the provincial capitals in 202. Caracalla granted Roman citizenship to all Egyptians, in common with the other provincials, but this was to extort more taxes, which grew onerous as the needs of the emperors for more revenue grew more desperate.
There was a series of revolts, both civilian, through the 3rd century. Under Decius, in 250, the Christians again suffered from persecution, but their religion continued to spread; the prefect of Aegyptus in 260, Mussius Aemilianus, first supported the Macriani, usurpers during the rule of Gallienus, in 261, became a usurper himself, but was defeated by Gallienus. Zenobia, queen of Palmyra, took the country away from the Romans when she conquered Aegyptus in 269, declaring herself the Queen of Egypt also; this warrior queen claimed that Egypt was an ancestral home of hers through a familial tie to Cleopatra VII. She was well educated and familiar with the culture of Egypt, its religion, its language, she lost it when the Roman emperor, severed amicable relations between the two countries and retook Egypt in 274. Two generals based in Aegyptus and Domitius Domitianus, led successful revolts and made themselves emperors. Diocletian reorganised the whole province, his edict of 303 against the Christians began a new era of persecution.
This was the last serious attempt to stem the steady growth of Christianity in Egypt, however. As Rome overtook the Ptolemaic system in place for areas of Egypt, they made many changes; the effect of the Roman conquest was at first to strengthen the position of the Greeks and of Hellenism against Egyptian influences. Some of the previous offices and names of offices under the Hellenistic Ptolemaic rule were kept, some were changed, some names would have remained but the function and administration would have changed; the Romans introduced important changes in the administrative system, aimed at achieving a high level of efficiency and maximizing revenue. The duties of the prefect of Aegyptus combined responsibility for military security through command of the legions and cohorts, for the organization of finance and taxation, for the administration of justice; the reforms of the early 4th century had established the basis for another 250 years of comparative prosperity in Aegyptus, at a cost of greater rigidity and more oppressive state control.
Aegyptus was subdivided for administrative purposes into a number of smaller provinces, s
Mary Garden was a Scottish operatic soprano with a substantial career in France and America in the first third of the 20th century. She spent the latter part of her childhood and youth in the United States and became an American citizen, although she lived in France for many years and retired to Scotland, where she died. Described as "the Sarah Bernhardt of opera", Garden was an exceptional actress as well as a talented singer, she was admired for her nuanced performances which employed interesting uses of vocal color. Possessing a beautiful lyric voice that had a wide vocal range and considerable amount of flexibility, Garden first arose to success in Paris during the first decade of the 20th century, she became the leading soprano at the Opéra-Comique. She worked with Jules Massenet, in whose operas she excelled. Massenet notably wrote the title role in his opera Chérubin for her. In 1907, Oscar Hammerstein convinced Garden to join the Manhattan Opera House in New York where she became an immediate success.
By 1910 she was a household name in America and Garden appeared in operas in several major American cities. Between 1910 and 1932 Garden worked in several opera houses in Chicago, she first worked with the Chicago Grand Opera Company and joined the Chicago Opera Association in 1915 becoming the company's director in 1921. Although director for only one year, Garden was notably responsible for staging the world premiere of Sergei Prokofiev's The Love for Three Oranges before the company went bankrupt in 1922. Shortly thereafter she became the director of the Chicago Civic Opera where she commissioned the opera Camille by 28-year-old composer Hamilton Forrest, she sang roles at the Civic Opera until 1931, notably in world premieres. Additionally, Garden appeared in two silent films made by Samuel Goldwyn. After retiring from the opera stage in 1934, Garden worked as a talent scout for MGM, she gave lectures and recitals on the life and works of Claude Debussy, until 1949. She retired to Scotland and in 1951 published a successful autobiography, Mary Garden's Story.
Her voice is preserved on a number of recordings made for the Gramophone Company, Edison Records, Pathé, Columbia Records and the Victor Talking Machine Company between 1903 and 1929. Mary Garden was one of four daughters, her parents, both from Aberdeen in Scotland, were Robert Davidson Garden and Mary Joss Garden, 14 when Mary was born, The family moved to Chicopee, United States when she was nine years old. They moved to Hartford, Connecticut a few years thence Chicago in 1888 when Mary was 14, she showed promise as a young singer, studied with Sarah Robinson-Duff in Chicago under the financial support of wealthy patrons David and Florence Mayer. In 1896 she pursued further studies in Paris, chiefly with Trabadelo and Lucien Fugère, still under the support of the Mayers, she studied some under Jacques Bouhy, Jules Chevalier, Mathilde Marchesi. In 1899 Garden lost the backing of her benefactors, she began to study singing with the American soprano Sibyl Sanderson. Sanderson introduced her to the director of the Opéra-Comique.
Impressed with her voice, Carré invited her to join the roster at the Opéra-Comique in 1900. Garden made her professional opera debut with the company on 10 April 1900 in the title role of Gustave Charpentier's Louise, which had received its world premiere only two months before. Although Garden had been preparing the role, her debut, at the eighth performance of the work, was unscheduled as she was a last minute replacement for Marthe Rioton who had become ill. From 1901 for two years, she carried on an affair with André Messager, she claimed that when the Opéra-Comique director Albert Carré asked her to marry him, she replied that she had someone else in her life – Messager. Her description is of a tempestuous relationship. After her debut, Garden became one of the leading sopranos at the Opéra-Comique. In 1901 she starred in two world premieres, Marie in Lucien Lambert's La Marseillaise and Diane in Gabriel Pierné's La fille de Tabarin; that same year she sang the title role in Massenet's Thaïs at Aix-les-Bains, sang both the title roles in Massenet's Manon and Messager's Madame Chrysanthème at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo.
In 1902, Claude Debussy selected her to play the female lead at the Opéra-Comique debut of his Pelléas et Mélisande. Garden's performances met with considerable critical acclaim, she created a sensation as Salomé in the French version of Richard Strauss's opera of that name. Following the success of Pelléas et Mélisande, Garden periodically went to London to sing at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden while still appearing in performances in Paris. At Covent Garden she sang Manon, Juliette in Charles Gounod's Roméo et Juliette, Marguerite in Gounod's Faust during the 1902 and 1903 seasons. Garden, did not care for London and decided to not take any more engagements in that city, her performances at the Opéra-Comique during this time included the title role in Massenet's Grisélidis, Violetta in Giuseppe Verdi's La traviata, the title role in the world premiere of Xavier Leroux's La reine Fiammette, an
A baritone is a type of classical male singing voice whose vocal range lies between the bass and the tenor voice types. From the Greek βαρύτονος, meaning heavy sounding, music for this voice is written in the range from the second F below middle C to the F above middle C in choral music, from the second A below middle C to the A above middle C in operatic music, but can be extended at either end; the baritone voice type is divided into the baryton-Martin baritone, lyric baritone, Verdi baritone, dramatic baritone, baryton-noble baritone, the bass-baritone. The first use of the term "baritone" emerged as baritonans, late in the 15th century in French sacred polyphonic music. At this early stage it was used as the lowest of the voices, but in 17th-century Italy the term was all-encompassing and used to describe the average male choral voice. Baritones took the range as it is known today at the beginning of the 18th century, but they were still lumped in with their bass colleagues until well into the 19th century.
Indeed, many operatic works of the 18th century have roles marked as bass that in reality are low baritone roles. Examples of this are to be found, for instance, in the operas and oratorios of George Frideric Handel; the greatest and most enduring parts for baritones in 18th-century operatic music were composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. They include Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Papageno in The Magic Flute and the lead in Don Giovanni. In theatrical documents, cast lists, journalistic dispatches that from the beginning of the 19th century till the mid 1820s, the terms primo basso, basse chantante, basse-taille were used for men who would be called baritones; these included the likes of Filippo Galli, Giovanni Inchindi, Henri-Bernard Dabadie. The basse-taille and the proper bass were confused because their roles were sometimes sung by singers of either actual voice part; the bel canto style of vocalism which arose in Italy in the early 19th century supplanted the castrato-dominated opera seria of the previous century.
It led to the baritone being viewed as a separate voice category from the bass. Traditionally, basses in operas had been cast as authority figures such as high priest. More than not, baritones found themselves portraying villains; the principal composers of bel canto opera are considered to be: Gioachino Rossini. The prolific operas of these composers, plus the works of Verdi's maturity, such as Un ballo in maschera, La forza del destino, Don Carlos/Don Carlo, the revised Simon Boccanegra, Aida and Falstaff, blazed many new and rewarding performance pathways for baritones. Figaro in Il barbiere is called the first true baritone role; however and Verdi in their vocal writing went on to emphasize the top fifth of the baritone voice, rather than its lower notes—thus generating a more brilliant sound. Further pathways opened up when the musically complex and physically demanding operas of Richard Wagner began to enter the mainstream repertory of the world's opera houses during the second half of the 19th century.
The major international baritone of the first half of the 19th century was the Italian Antonio Tamburini. He was a famous Don Giovanni in Mozart's eponymous opera as well as being a Bellini and Donizetti specialist. Commentators praised his voice for its beauty and smooth tonal emission, which are the hallmarks of a bel canto singer. Tamburini's range, was closer to that of a bass-baritone than to that of a modern "Verdi baritone", his French equivalent was Henri-Bernard Dabadie, a mainstay of the Paris Opera between 1819 and 1836 and the creator of several major Rossinian baritone roles, including Guillaume Tell. Dabadie sang in Italy, where he originated the role of Belcore in L'elisir d'amore in 1832; the most important of Tamburini's Italianate successors were all Verdians. They included: Giorgio Ronconi, who created the title role in Verdi's Nabucco Felice Varesi, who created the title roles in Macbeth and Rigoletto as well as Germont in La traviata Antonio Superchi, the originator of Don Carlo in Ernani Francesco Graziani, the original Don Carlo di Vargas in La forza del destino Leone Giraldoni, the creator of Renato in Un ballo in maschera and the first Simon Boccanegra Enrico Delle Sedie, London's first Renato Adriano Pantaleoni, renowned for his performances as Amonasro in Aida as well as other Verdi roles at La Scala, Milan Francesco Pandolfini, whose singing at La Scala during the 1870s was praised by Verdi Antonio Cotogni, a much lauded singer in Milan and Saint Petersburg, the first Italian Posa in Don Carlos and a great vocal pedagogue, too Filippo Coletti, creator of Verdi's Gusmano in Alzira, Francesco in I masnadieri, Germont in the second version of La traviata and for whom Verdi considered writing the opera'Lear'.
Eugène Louis Carpezat was an acclaimed French scenographer in the Belle Époque. Carpezat was the son of lemonade makers Claude François Jacqueline Caniou. After considering a career in the fine and decorative arts, Carpezat studied with the famous scenic designer Charles-Antoine Cambon, whose speciality in architecture sets he inherited. In 1875, Carpezat set up a professional association with fellow scenographer Antoine Lavastre in order to take over Cambon's workshop at the latter's death. Together and Lavastre would design some of the defining Parisian productions – or parts thereof, as was customary – of the late 1870s and early 1880s: the world premieres of Delibes' Lakmé, Gounod's Polyeucte and Le tribut de Zamora, Massenet's Le Roi de Lahore, Saint-Saëns' Henri VIII, Verdi's Aida, Verne's Michel Strogoff; the duo designed a number of revival productions for the Parisian Opéra the scenery of which had perished in the fire of the Salle Le Peletier – examples include Meyerbeer's Robert le Diable, L'Africaine and Le prophète.
By Carpezat and Lavastre l'aîné were the interior decorations of the Opera-Comique's second Salle Favart. Upon Lavastre's death, in 1883, Carpezat joined hands with Lavastre's younger brother, Jean-Baptiste, to design the premieres of a.o. Bruneau's Le rêve, Massenet's Esclarmonde and Le mage, Saint-Saëns' Ascanio. Carpezat worked independently from Lavastre's death onwards. Named the latter's successor as the Opéra's chef du service des décorations, Carpezat contributed to an immense number of stagings at the Palais Garnier: Gluck's Armide, Gounod's Sapho and Faust, Leroux' Astarté, Massenet's Le Cid and Thaïs, Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie, Reyer's Salammbô, Rossini's Guillaume Tell, Saint-Saëns' Samson et Dalila and Henri VIII, Verdi's Otello, Wagner's Die Walküre, Tannhäuser and Götterdämmerung. In addition, Carpezat became a household name at the Comédie-Française, Théâtre du Châtelet, Gaîté, Opéra-Comique, Théâtre des Nations, Porte Saint-Martin, Variétés. Carpezat accepted commissions abroad, for instance from Madrid's Zarzuela and Belém's Theatro da Paz.
Carpezat received a diplôme d'honneur at the Exposition Universelle of 1878. He was awarded a grand prix and named Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur at the Exposition Universelle of 1889, he sat in the commission organizing the conference L'art théâtral at the Exposition Universelle of 1900. Numerous scenic designers of note were taught by Carpezat at his workshop at 50 Boulevard de la Villette: Ambroise Belluot, Léon Bouchet, François Carpezat, Albert Dubosq, Oleguer Junyent i Sans, Lucien Jusseaume, Olivier Maréchal, Eugène Martial Simas and Victor Lamorte. Carpezat died at the age of 79 "aged and discouraged due to no longer having any commissions from the larger theatres", he was interred in his family tomb at Montparnasse Cemetery. As Le Gaulois wrote in 1912, Carpezat “faisait de la peinture qui avait de la tendance à l’impressionnisme. Posterity has been less kind to the man and, by extension, the last generation of Parisian romantic scenographers. In 1975, Donald Oenslager noted that, In practicing their craft, they carried on the established formulas and procedures of earlier ateliers.
But they became powerful leaders who without realizing it, initiated the industrialization of the scenic artists’ profession. The traditional old-time atelier became a business house. … With the growing pressures of expansion, something had gone out of the individual scenic artist such as Carpezat. He had lost himself in imitating former innovations, in his expanding workshop, while satisfying the demand for popular illusionist techniques, he fell into the trap of scenic cliché and pictorial pastiche. While Carpezat continued older traditions and techniques that he and his predecessors had been accumulating since the pioneering works of Pierre-Luc-Charles Ciceri – who had taught Carpezat's own master, Cambon – he made an idiosyncratic contribution to the art of scenic painting. For instance, while Cambon had used greyish tones, Carpezat painted his scenery in crisp, luminous colors that benefited from electric lighting and catered to the taste of the Belle Époque, more to contemporary vogues such as the art nouveau, period furniture, Beaux-Arts architecture.
In addition, Carpezat was second to none in conjuring up the illusion of solid, protruding volumes from painted flats. Less interested in depicting historicist ornaments than his colleagues, he sought to amplify the dramatic potential of each setting by focusing on perspective as a carrier of dramatic appeal. Quite significant in this respect are t
Louis Gallet was a French writer of operatic libretti, romances, memoirs and innumerable articles, remembered above all for his adaptations of fiction —and Scripture— to provide librettos of cantatas and opera, notably by composers Georges Bizet, Camille Saint-Saëns and Jules Massenet. By day Gallet supported himself by a minor post in the Administration of Assistance to the Poor and positions, first as treasurer as general administrator, at the Beaujon hospital and other hospitals. In 1871 Camille du Locle, the manager of the Paris Opéra-Comique offered to produce a one-act work of Camille Saint-Saëns, he proposed as collaborator Louis Gallet, whom Saint-Saëns did not know, the result was the slight piece La princesse jaune notable as the first japonerie on the operatic stage, Japan having only recently been opened to Western trade and the first Japanese woodblock prints having been seen in Paris only two years previously. The two worked together harmoniously for years, it was Saint-Saëns who recommended Gallet as music critic for the Nouvelle Revue, though he was not a musician.
For Massenet he first provided a libretto for the oratorio Marie-Magdeleine which proved to be Massenet's first major success and the first of his four dramatic oratorios. Georges Bizet's one-act opera Djamileh to Gallet's libretto premiered 22 May 1872 at the Opéra-Comique, Paris), but two other Bizet operas by Gallet and Edouard Blau remained incomplete at Bizet's untimely death in 1875: La coupe du roi de Thulé and a five-act Don Rodrigue. In his libretto for Massenet's Thaïs he employed an unrhymed free verse that he termed, in Parnassien fashion, poésie melique which, like its classical Greek predecessors, was designed for a declamation with accompaniment. In Gallet's hands declamation rose by degrees into a freely-structured aria, raised above the level of prose by its sonorities and syntactical patterns, formulas that were finely suited to the musical techniques of both Saint-Saëns and Massenet. After Gallet's death, Saint-Saëns wrote:I wish I knew what to say about the man himself, his unwearying goodness, his loyalty, his scrupulousness, his good humor, his originality, his continual common sense, his intellect, alert to everything unusual and interesting.
Les confidences d'un baiser Le Capitaine Satan Saltimbanques Le Petit Docteur Au pays des Cigaliers Fêtes cigalières et félibréennes Notes d'un librettiste Guerre et Commune Hervé, Lacombe. "Autour de Louis Gallet—Profil d'une carrière de librettiste". Le livret d'opéra au temps de Massenet. Publications de l'Université de Saint-Étienne. Pp. 61–88. ISBN 2-86272-258-8. Camille Saint-Saëns, "Louis Gallet" Stanford University site: "Georges Bizet" "Louis Gallet: librettist of Thaïs" Claude Calame, ""Anthropologie des poétiques grecques: La poésie mélique entre genres rituels et institutions civiques"