After Fiesque (1868) and Le Roi d'Ys (1888), Édouard Lalo embarked on the composition of what he intended as his masterpiece: a historical and moral opera set against the background of a peasants' revolt. But he died unexpectedly, having completed only the first act. His family entrusted Arthur Coquard – a fervent Wagnerian like Lalo – with the task of finishing the job, which he did with incontestable talent. The work multiplies references to Romantic Grand Opera, in particolar with its spectacular set designs. With its concise structure and its vocal writing blending Verdian heroism and Wagnerian lyricism, La Jacquerie is a succinct, effective opera, devoid of affectation. The work had a successful premiere at Monte Carlo on 9 March 1895 and was revived in Lyon and at the Opéra-Comique in Paris in December of the same year.
Recording made by Radio France at the Opéra Berlioz – le Corum de Montpellier on July 24, 2015 as part of the Festival Radio France et Montpellier Occitanie.
Contents of the book
Gérard Condé, La Jacquerie: an overview
Michela Niccolai, La Jacquerie on the stage
Arthur Pougin, Review of the Paris premiere
Pierre Sérié, The imaginary Middle Ages of the opera house: when the Jacques were honest fellows