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In 1968 Lalo, ‘Puisqu’on ne peut fléchir … Vainement’ (Mylio), Le Roi d’Ys, Act III

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 September 2016


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Research Article
© Cambridge University Press 2016 

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Flora Willson, King’s College London;


1 Barthes, Roland, ‘Writing the Event’ (1968), in The Rustle of Language, trans. Richard Howard (Berkeley, 1989), 149 Google Scholar. My thanks to Delia Casadei, who introduced me to this essay.

2 Barthes, ‘Writing the Event’, 149.

3 The Met’s audiences did not take to Cilea’s opera, but their new tenor fared much better; see Davis, Peter, ‘Opera in New York’, The Times (2 November 1968), 19 Google Scholar.

4 Vanzo recorded the entirety of Le Roi d’Ys live in Paris in September 1973; the short extract that I discuss here, however, is a studio recording made during the autumn of 1968. This is available on YouTube at both and (accessed 6 August 2015). The uploader of the latter clip dates the recording as 14 October 1968, but I have been unable to verify this elsewhere. A third recording (from 1958) is also available on YouTube: (accessed 31 August 2015).

5 Foucault, Michel, The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences (original edn as L’Ordre des choses, 1966; English trans. repr. London, 2002), xvi Google Scholar.

6 See, for instance, Midgette, Anne, ‘Alain Vanzo, 73, Famed Tenor Who Embodied French Lyricism’, The New York Times (24 February 2002)Google Scholar; Forbes, Elizabeth, ‘Obituary: Alain Vanzo’, The Independent (11 March 2002)Google Scholar.

7 Harrison, Max, ‘Parisian Delights’, Illustrated London News (11 October 1969), 27 Google Scholar.

8 Potter, John, Tenor: History of a Voice (New Haven, 2009), 142 Google Scholar.

9 Barthes, Roland, ‘The Grain of the Voice’ (1972), in Image-Music-Text, trans. Stephen Heath (New York, 1977), 183 Google Scholar.

10 Bergeron, Katherine, Voice Lessons: French Mélodie in the Belle Epoque (Oxford, 2010), 94 Google Scholar.