Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Émile Zola's Chanson de Lulu -- of interest to those who inhabit the Lulu-verse

I came across this sheet music online, and thought it might be of interest to those of us who inhabit the Lulu-verse. It is a song titled "Chanson de Lulu" by Émile Zola (words) and Alfred Bruneau (music). It comes from a four act opera called L'Ouragan.

Émile Zola (1840-1902), of course, is the famed French author of Nana and other literary works. [On July 26, 1958, Louise Brooks viewed a print of Jean Renoir's film version of Nana at the George Eastman House -- follow THIS LINK to view a video clip from the film.]

Alfred Bruneau (1857-1934) was a French composer who played a key role in the introduction of realism in French opera. Zola and Bruneau collaborated on a three operas, including L'Ouragan. It was considered his best work. The sheet music shown below was published in France in 1901. L'Ouragan was given in Moscow in a Russian translation in 1905.

One reference I found described the opera as a "gloomy story of love, jealousy, and revenge" set among fisher-folk on an unnamed coast. Otherwise, I haven't been able to find much else about this piece, and how it might fit, if at all, into the Lulu-lineage. (There was, as well, a famous circus performer named Lulu in Paris around the turn of the last century.) Some additional images from the original 1901 opera production may be found HERE.

Would anyone know of an English-language translation of "Chanson de Lulu" ?


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