The Legacy of a One-woman Show: A Performance History of Julie Candeille's Catherine, ou la belle fermière

Recent research has demonstrated that a central feature of many women's operatic creations from late eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century France was a marked autobiographical element. Although this autobiographical style resulted in numerous box-office successes, it also limited the lifespan of these successes because it linked the works too closely with their authors. This article will discuss a work that appears to be an exception to this rule: Julie Candeille's Catherine, ou la belle fermière, a musical comedy that became the longest-running operatic work by a woman in history, playing virtually uninterruptedly between 1792 and 1839. In fact, the work and the title role remained intimately connected to the person of Candeille, who could never rid herself of the curiosity engendered by the public image she had earlier created for herself. (In English) (JL and RA)

Letzter, Jacqueline, and Robert Adelson.
Volume 2004-2005 Fall-Winter; 33(1-2): 11-34.