A Second Refuge: French Opera and the Huguenot Migration, 1685-1713


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




During the period known as the Second Refuge, displaced Huguenots maintained extensive networks that encouraged the exchange of ideas and of music. The opera not only provided employment for these exiles, but was itself a site of refuge, a space where a lost identity could be nostalgically reconstructed. Using the career trajectory of a Huguenot impresario as a map, this dissertation describes the environments Huguenots encountered across Europe in order to answer questions about the mechanisms of musical exchange and the stakes of performance in a changing world. It constructs an alternative history of French opera by examining specific performances, one that demonstrates that the French nation-state is an inadequate framework for understanding “French” opera in the decades around 1700.