Spontini La vestale

La Vestale was Spontini's first opera composed specifically for the Paris Opéra, and among the first great successes of his career. Having garnered only modest attention in his native Italy, Spontini established himself in Paris and quickly gained the admiration of a number of influential figures, including the composer Hector Berlioz, Napoleon, and the Empress Josephine. Their advocacy was fortunate for the composer, since the prevailing taste in French opera houses had turned toward a retrenchment of traditional French musical and dramatic styles and against increasing Italianate influence. Spontini's spacious melodies, colorful orchestrations, and modern harmonies caused the jury at the Paris Opéra to reject La Vestale, calling the music "bizarre" and "noisy." But, after direct intervention by the Empress, the opera was produced on December 15, 1807. It was hailed as a masterpiece by the public and critics alike, and became the biggest operatic success of the First Empire. It was revived throughout the century at the Paris Opéra and at houses abroad. It has also proved popular with modern audiences, and seems likely to remain in the repertoire.
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La vestale
La vestale
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La vestale

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