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Female Singers and the maladie morale in Parisian Lyric Theaters, 1830-1850

Female Singers and the maladie morale in Parisian Lyric Theaters, 1830-1850 Kimberly White n 1835 music critic Henri Blanchard wrote a provocative article titled "Les actrices mariées," published in the theater journal Le monde dramatique. The article opened with a mock conversation conveying the critic's concern with morality in Parisian theaters. Was he about to launch into a tirade on performers' libertine lifestyles and their detrimental effects on public morality? Not at all. Instead, Blanchard voiced concern over bourgeois morality, which infiltrated the theaters and led women artists to adopt a virtuous lifestyle. He linked what he perceived as a wilting of the dramatic arts to an increased number of married actresses: "Do you know why dramatic art is disappearing? Why the beautiful flower of our civilization wilts on its stem in our brilliant capital of France?" "My word, no." "Because actresses are getting married." "What a paradox! Then you are not in favor of this laudable, respectable, sacred bond? . . . But what about morality?" "Ha! It is very much a question of morality of these pretty women! Of women artists, exceptional in our social order! What, do you not see that these seductive fairies, these fascinating sylphs, with their enchanting [vocal] organs, naive grace, and voluptuous http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture University of Nebraska Press

Female Singers and the maladie morale in Parisian Lyric Theaters, 1830-1850

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © the International Alliance for Women in Music.
ISSN
1553-0612
Publisher site
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Abstract

Kimberly White n 1835 music critic Henri Blanchard wrote a provocative article titled "Les actrices mariées," published in the theater journal Le monde dramatique. The article opened with a mock conversation conveying the critic's concern with morality in Parisian theaters. Was he about to launch into a tirade on performers' libertine lifestyles and their detrimental effects on public morality? Not at all. Instead, Blanchard voiced concern over bourgeois morality, which infiltrated the theaters and led women artists to adopt a virtuous lifestyle. He linked what he perceived as a wilting of the dramatic arts to an increased number of married actresses: "Do you know why dramatic art is disappearing? Why the beautiful flower of our civilization wilts on its stem in our brilliant capital of France?" "My word, no." "Because actresses are getting married." "What a paradox! Then you are not in favor of this laudable, respectable, sacred bond? . . . But what about morality?" "Ha! It is very much a question of morality of these pretty women! Of women artists, exceptional in our social order! What, do you not see that these seductive fairies, these fascinating sylphs, with their enchanting [vocal] organs, naive grace, and voluptuous

Journal

Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and CultureUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Nov 9, 2012

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