The «théâtre musical léger» in Europe: From the Operetta to the Music-hall

Organized by

Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini, Lucca

Palazzetto Bru Zane – Centre de musique romantique française, Venice

Lucca, Complesso Monumentale di San Micheletto

5-7 October 2015

The Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini of Lucca and the Palazzetto Bru Zane of Venice is pleased to invite submissions of proposals for the symposium «The théâtre musical léger in Europe: From the Operetta to the Music-hall», to be held in Lucca, Complesso Monumentale di San Micheletto, from Monday 5 until Wednesday 7 October 2015.

During the second half of the nineteenth century, the ‘official’ European performance venues were flanked by cabarets, music-halls and private spaces that welcomed new musical and theatrical genres. In Europe often miscellaneous venues hosted performances normally intended for the middle class.

In this scenario, the ‘operetta’ had a leading role. The term usually indicates different kinds of music theatre, which alternate singing and spoken language, such as opéra-bouffe, comédie musicale, music-hall performances (Madame Thérésa, Yvette Guilbert and Aristide Bruant in particular), revues (which then developed into the Italian rivista) and so forth, sometimes including ill-defined genres. Starting from the Second Empire, ‘operetta’, through a series of changes, was to arrive at the Broadway musical, often incorrectly called ‘American operetta’.

All the aforementioned varieties of entertainment have been explored in a few isolated studies, and have not received comprehensive scholarly exploration.

The programme committee encourages submissions within the following areas, although other topics are welcome:

  • The genres of the théâtre musical léger: operetta, revue, caf’conc’, music-hall, chanson réaliste and so forth.
  • Musical performing venues (production system, legislation, censorship, etc.)
  • Repertoire
  • The composers of the théâtre musical léger (Hervé, Offenbach, Gilbert & Sullivan, Lecocq, R. Hahn, Varney, Audran, Planquette, Lehár, Scotto, Sidney Jones, Leoncavallo, Lombardo-Ranzato and so forth)
  • Staging and mise-en-scène
  • Exoticism as scenic and sociological component
  • Entertainment system in the European countries

 Programme Committee:

  • Olivier Bara (Université Lyon2)
  • Étienne Jardin (Palazzetto Bru Zane, Venice)
  • Lorenzo Frassà (Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini)
  • Roberto Illiano (Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini)
  • Fulvia Morabito (Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini)
  • Michela Niccolai, Conference director (Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris – ART)

Keynote Speakers:

  • Susan Rutherford (University of Manchester)
  • Olivier Bara (Université Lyon2)

The official languages of the conference are English, French and Italian. Papers selected at the conference will be published in a miscellaneous volume.

Papers are limited to twenty minutes in length, allowing time for questions and discussion. Please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words and one page of biography. All proposals should be submitted by email no later than ***Sunday 10 May 2015*** to <>. With your proposal please include your name, contact details (postal address, e-mail and telephone number) and (if applicable) your affiliation.

The committee will make its final decision on the abstracts by the end of May 2015, and contributors will be informed immediately thereafter. Further information about the programme, registration, travel and accommodation will be announced after that date.

For any additional information, please contact:

Dr. Roberto Illiano,