Paris and the Opéra, 1819–21
This chapter describes Viotti in his role as director of the Paris Opéra and the Théâtre Italien in the period 1819–21. Several letters are cited showing how he dealt with disciplinary, financial, and artistic matters involving composers, such as Gaspare Spontini, colleagues, such as Ferdinando Paer and Kreutzer, lead singers, chorus and orchestra members, dancers, and his superiors in the Opéra administration. His attempts to improve artistic standards among the singers and the orchestra are documented. Viotti's role in the increasing popularity of Rossini's operas at the Théâtre Italien is considered. His friendships with the Duke of Cambridge, the poet Thomas Moore, Lady Bessborough, his pupil Robberechts, and others, is described. Viotti's unsuccessful attempts to recoup his losses from the failure of his wine business in 1818 are given due attention.
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