La Révolution Française (rock opera)

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La Révolution Française is a French rock opera by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Raymond Jeannot, book by Alain Boublil and Jean-Max Rivière, created in 1973. The show premiered at the Palais des Sports de Paris.

Synopsis[edit]

With the French Revolution as its background, we see unfold the fictional story of the impossible love between Charles Gauthier and Isabelle de Montmorency. Gauthier is the son of a shopkeeper who becomes a member of the Tiers-État, while Isabelle is an aristocrat who is forced to flee with the royal family.

Creative Team[edit]

Original Cast[edit]

Discography[edit]

There are two versions of this work available: the original double album as well as the triple, expanded album of the presentation at the Theatre Mogador.

First Version[edit]

The disk has been released in a double-vinyl album from Vogue in 1973. This release contained a 16-page booklet, 12 pages of which featured cartoons incorporating the words of the songs. The disk has been re-edited several times since, in 1989, for example, to celebrate the bicentennial of the French Revolution.

Songlist[edit]

  1. Ouverture - Choir
  2. Les États généraux (5 mai 1789) :
    Le Roi - Louis XVI (The King)
    La Noblesse - Choir [1] (The Nobility)
    Le Clergé - Choir (Clergy)
    Le Tiers-État - The Members of the Tiers-État[2]
  3. Charles Gauthier (mai 1789) - Charles Gauthier
  4. À Versailles (14 juillet 1789) - The King's children and Louis XVI ("At Versaille", 14 July 1789)
  5. Retour de la Bastille : Français, Français - Robespierre and Choir ("The Return of the Bastille; Frenchmen, Frenchmen")
  6. Il s'appelle Charles Gauthier - Isabelle de Montmorency ("He is Called Charles Gauthier")
  7. À bas tous les privilèges (nuit du 4 août 1789) - Choir[2] ("Down With all Privileges", night of 4 August 1789)
  8. Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen (26 août 1789) - Charles Gauthier ("Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen", 26 August 1789)
  9. Ça ira, ça ira ! (5-6 octobre 1789) - Louis XVI, La Fayette, a counsellor and Choir ("It'll Be Fine, It'll Be Fine!", 5-6 October 1789)
  10. Quatre saisons pour un amour - Isabelle de Montmorency ("Four Seasons for a Love")
  11. Serment de Talleyrand (12 juillet 1789) / Fête de la Fédération (14 juillet 1790) - Talleyrand and Choir[3] ("Oath of Talleyrand", 12 July 1789) / "Festival of the Federation", 14 July 1790)
  12. Crieurs de journaux (21 juin 1791) / La patrie est en danger (11 juillet 1792) - Danton and Choir[2] ("Newspaper Sellers", 21 June 1791 / "The Fatherland is in Danger", 11 July 1792)
  13. L'Exil (10 août 1792) - Charles Gauthier and Isabelle de Montmorency ("Exile", 10 August 1792)
  14. Valmy (20 septembre 1792) / Proclamation de la République (21 septembre 1792) - General Kellermann and Choir ("Valmy", 20 September 1792 / "Proclamation of the Republic", 21 September 1792)
  15. C'est du beau linge, mon général - Madame Sans-Gêne, General Bonaparte and Choir ("They're Beautiful Clothes, My General")
  16. Le Procès de Louis XVI : Réquisitoire (10 décembre 1792) - Fouquier-Tinville ("The Trial of Louis XVI: Indictment", 10 December 1792)
  17. Louis XVI / Exécution (21 janvier 1793) - Louis XVI and Choir ("Louis XVI" / "Execution", 21 January 1793)
  18. Chouans, en avant ! (juin 1793) - Les Chouans ("Chouans, Forward!", June 1793)
  19. La terreur est en nous - Choir[1] ("Terror is in Us")
  20. L'Horrible Assassinat du citoyen Marat par la perfide Charlotte Corday (13 juillet 1793) - Marat and Charlotte Corday ("The Horrible Assassination of Citizen Marat by the Perfidious Charlotte Corday", 13 July 1793)
  21. Fouquier-Tinville
  22. Au petit matin (25 vendémiaire an II / 16 octobre 1793) - Marie-Antoinette ("Early Morning", 25 Vendémiaire Year II / 16 October 1793)
  23. Que j'aie tort ou que j'aie raison (16 germinal an II / 5 avril 1794) - Robespierre and Choir ("Whether I'm Wrong or Right", 16 Germinal Year II / 5 April 1794)
  24. La Fête de l'Être suprême (20 prairial an II / 8 juin 1794)- Robespierre and Choir ("The Festival of the Supreme Being", 20 Prairial Year II / 8 June 1794)
  25. La Prison - The Prison Guard and Isabelle
  26. Révolution (final) - Charles and Isabelle

The songs were distributed on the original double album as follows:

  • 1-5 : Disc 1, side 1
  • 6-10 : Disc 2, side 1 (2)
  • 11-16 : Disc 2, side 2 (3)
  • 17-25 : Disc 1, side 2 (4)

1977 Version[edit]

  • The passage concerned with Charlotte Corday's assassination of Jean-Paul Marat was totally rewritten. While only a small intermezzo in the first version, it becomes an opera trio between Charlotte, Marat (who sings with a dagger in his heart) and his servant.
  • One new scene was added : a confrontational dialogue between Charles Gauthier and Robespierre, each verse of which is a retort of the other character.

Recordings[edit]

  • 1973 : Double album (LDM 30166 or LD 30166 / VG 308 430166 without booklet)
  • 1977 : 3 disc box set (VG603 or C.V.U. 316)
  • 1987 : First reissue on CD of 24 titres originaux (VG 651-600 146)
  • 1989 : Special reissue for bicentennial of the French Revolution (PM 524 310 296 without booklet)
  • 2000 : Reissue in standard and luxury editions (Anthology's B00004ZBMN)

External links[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b Système Crapoutchick
  2. ^ a b c Martin Circus
  3. ^ Les Charlots