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Grant number like: FEL-258019-18

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Award Number Grant ProgramAward RecipientProject TitleAward PeriodApproved Award Total
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FEL-258019-18Research Programs: FellowshipsJulia I. DoeThe Comedians of the King: Opéra-Comique and the Bourbon Monarchy on the Eve of Revolution7/1/2018 - 1/31/2019$29,400.00JuliaI.Doe   Columbia UniversityNew YorkNY10027-7922USA2017Music History and CriticismFellowshipsResearch Programs294000294000

A book-length study of royal patronage and French comic opera (opéra-comique), from 1767 through the French Revolution.

"The Comedians of the King" traces the impact of Bourbon court patronage on the development of French comic opera in the decades leading up to the Revolution. The book presents the history of an understudied genre and the institutional structures that supported it, determining how novel modes of royal sponsorship contributed to the rapid evolution of this lyric form. More broadly, my project interrogates the political implications of this shift during a period of tremendous cultural change. Drawing on both musical and archival evidence, I demonstrate how comic theater was exploited in (and worked against) the construction of the monarchy’s carefully cultivated image. In essence, I examine the aesthetic, institutional, and political tensions that arose when a genre with popular roots was folded into the Bourbon propaganda machine—and when a collection of actors trained at the urban fairs of Paris became official representatives of the sovereign, or comédiens ordinaires du roi.