The author is going to answer a question: "How did the French Revolution affect European Music around the start of the nineteenth century?" Chosen topic is from either vocal or instrumental music and musicians working either in or outside France…
As the political world grew and evolved a new expectation was formed. “Inflamed by their poverty and hatred of wealth, the Sans-Culottes (members of the working class) insisted that it was the duty of the government to guarantee them the right to existence.” (Kreis, 2004) With this new idea of rights for the lower classes came a new aesthetic in the way people chose to be entertained. Instead of seeking stories of Gods and divine intervention, the idea evolved that one could find salvation from the actions of human beings. The people wanted to believe that they could take control and power over their own lives. This lead to the development of the ‘rescue opera’.
The concept of the ‘rescue opera’ was a simple story line. An innocent was put into peril and then rescued. “The vogue was for earthquakes, shipwrecks and volcanoes, and tales of the deliverance of the innocent - a genre known as “rescue opera” or “piece a sauvetage”. (Boyden, 2002 p. 119) Many of these operas were developed from the ‘opera comique‘ which was an opera that was delivered as a comedy. As the Revolution brought their entertainment. “In rescue operas, the principal character is in prison as a result of a political act. The rescue should be achieved by ordinary human characters in a realistic way. Themes deal with survival rather than death.” (Dorak, 2006) ...
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