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Title: The Guénégaud Theatre 1673-1680 and the machine plays of Thomas Corneille
Author: Clarke, Jan
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1988
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The Guénégaud theatre was in operation in Paris from 1673 to 1680 - from shortly after Molière's death to the foundation of the Comedie-Frangaise. Although the first home of both the Paris Opera and the Comedie-Frangaise, the Guénégaud has attracted little attention, and no previous study has been devoted entirely to it, despite the fact that the Guénégaud account books are preserved in the Archives of the Comedie-Francaise. These have provided a wealth of information on the day-to-day running of a seventeenth-century French theatre and the preparation of productions. What is more, a study of the records of ticket sales they contain has been found to make possible not only an analysis of the tastes and, to a certain extent, the composition of the Guénégaud's audiences, but also a reconstruction of the theatre building itself. In 1673, the Guénégaud company was in a highly vulnerable position. Just seven years later, however, it was so powerful and in possession of a theatre so well-equipped, - that it was the ancient and prestigious Hotel de Bourgogne company that was closed down and its actors transferred to the Guénégaud to form the Comedie-Francaise. This thesis, therefore, further examines how the Guénégaud company succeeded in effecting this reversal in their fortunes. One major contributing factor was the Guénégaud company's series of machine plays by Thomas Corneille and Donneau De Vise. Concentrating on Circe, the first and most successful of these, as a single representative production, this thesis, is also, therefore, a study of the adaptation and final demise of a genre where music was of primary importance in the face of implacable opposition from Lully, desirous of protecting his privilege on the production of operas. Finally, the thesis attempts to show that if there is any justification in the tradition by which the Comedie-Frangaise is known as the 'Maison de Moliere', this is entirely due to the Guénégaud company's success in ensuring their own survival and, in so doing, maintaining and transmitting their inheritance from Moliere's troupe, and that this same survival was in no small part thanks to the machine plays of Thomas Corneille.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater