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 France - La Révolution Française, A Rock Opera

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Professor Tomoe
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PostSubject: France - La Révolution Française, A Rock Opera   France - La Révolution Française, A Rock Opera I_icon_minitime13th September 2017, 10:40 am

France - La Révolution Française, A Rock Opera H7kg4I3

Most people are at least familiar with the acclaimed musical Les Misérables in name alone. This musical takes place during the revolutionary period in France, and it serves to many as an introduction to the general impression of the time. The music is beloved by many—despite a chilly initial review, it is now one of the longest running musicals.

What most people don't know is that the duo who wrote the music and lyrics, Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil, originally wrote another piece of musical threatre featuring a similar time period that premiered 7 years prior to Les Misérables...

The rock opera La Révolution Française!

This work is considered the first French rock opera. It was written and premiered in the 1970s and has a clear inspiration from that time period in the songs, which make heavy use of popular music themes of the time. It began as a concept album that was eventually fleshed out into a stage show. After the 1973 premier, it was popular enough to be updated in 1977, with the addition of two scenes: an extension of the assassination of Jean-Paul Marat and a dialogue between Charles Gauthier (a fictional character created for the rock opera) and Maximilien Robespierre.

Unlike Les Misérables, La Révolution Française features predominantly historical figures, although the main characters (lovers Charles Gauthier, a son of a shopkeeper, and Isabelle de Montmorency, a daughter of an aristocratic family) are fictional. King Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette, the radical journalist and politician Jean-Paul Marat, the influential lawyer Maximilien Robespierre... Even Napoleon Bonaparte is represented as "Général Bonaparte" with a comic song that involves being chastized by laundry maids who want him to pay his bill at the inn.

Even after the international success of Les Misérables, La Révolution Française was never translated or released in English. Generally it is thought that others considered the subject matter "too French", which would not have been appreciated elsewhere.

Interested in listening, even though it's only in French?
Try this playlist on YouTube!

To get an idea of what it looked like when preformed, take a peek at this montage!


Here's a place to read the lyrics, in French!
FR Musique: La Révolution Française

I was first introduced to this work when I took French language classes. My teacher was always looking for more opportunities to expose us to French history, and thought that having us listen to the music and follow along with the amusingly illustrated comic book libretto (yes, all the lyrics were written in a comic book!) this would be more fun for teenagers than reading another textbook. Even to this day, some of the songs get stuck in my head.

Anyone who comments with the title of or a link to the song they most enjoyed will earn this bumper!
France - La Révolution Française, A Rock Opera LOsfIgh
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PostSubject: Re: France - La Révolution Française, A Rock Opera   France - La Révolution Française, A Rock Opera I_icon_minitime15th September 2017, 3:58 pm

A rock opera of the revolution. This is incredible! I really liked Ça Ira, Ça Ira. I looked up an english translation of the lyrics to listen alongside. Is there a subbed version of the full musical on youtube somewhere?

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PostSubject: Re: France - La Révolution Française, A Rock Opera   France - La Révolution Française, A Rock Opera I_icon_minitime15th September 2017, 7:20 pm

For some reason, reading this put me in mind of Hamilton.  I guess just because both are very much musicals of their own time, but focus on events of the past.  Also, I haven't ever heard of this, and I can't believe I missed it. I know all the words to Les Mis by heart, so thanks for introducing me to something more to learn!

I didn't see a link with video for my favorite song, but I really like A Versailles, so here is the song with the album cover:

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PostSubject: Re: France - La Révolution Française, A Rock Opera   France - La Révolution Française, A Rock Opera I_icon_minitime16th September 2017, 9:15 am

Cosmos-Hime, I have never found a subtitled version of the full musical. There may not be a widely-available recording of the full musical even in French.
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PostSubject: Re: France - La Révolution Française, A Rock Opera   France - La Révolution Française, A Rock Opera I_icon_minitime25th September 2017, 8:33 am

I also really liked Ça Ira, Ça Ira! I've taken a few years of French, so I was able to pick up on a little. Such a cool musical!

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PostSubject: Re: France - La Révolution Française, A Rock Opera   France - La Révolution Française, A Rock Opera I_icon_minitime25th September 2017, 12:41 pm

Sailor Mercury wrote:
Cosmos-Hime, I have never found a subtitled version of the full musical. There may not be a widely-available recording of the full musical even in French.
Aww. So they never did any additional showings aside from the original cast? If not, now would be a great time for a reboot, since Hamilton is such a big hit.

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PostSubject: Re: France - La Révolution Française, A Rock Opera   France - La Révolution Française, A Rock Opera I_icon_minitime2nd October 2017, 8:34 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Sailor Mercury wrote:
Cosmos-Hime, I have never found a subtitled version of the full musical. There may not be a widely-available recording of the full musical even in French.
Aww. So they never did any additional showings aside from the original cast? If not, now would be a great time for a reboot, since Hamilton is such a big hit.

They have done additional showings, but only in France. If it was released as a recorded version, it was never released here, never with subtitles, and does not appear to have been put online.
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PostSubject: Re: France - La Révolution Française, A Rock Opera   France - La Révolution Française, A Rock Opera I_icon_minitime

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