Massenet at the Apex
This chapter focuses on Massenet's continued popularity following the opening of Esclarmonde. Massenet's success and creative powers seemed to reach a new level in the early 1890s. The brilliant 1891 reprise of Manon at the Opéra-Comique and the Vienna première of Werther formed a backdrop to the composers preoccupation with a new vehicle for Sanderson. That opera would be ThaÏs, which, together with Werther, ranks as Massenet's strongest work. ThaÏs is based on Anatole France's eponymous novel, serialized in La Revue des deux mondes in 1889.
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