The Race for Robert, and Other Rivalries: Negotiating the Local and (Inter)national in Nineteenth-Century New Orleans

Charlotte Bentley
Grand opéra occupied a prominent but fraught position in the life of New Orleans in the 1830s, where it became a focus for debates surrounding contemporary cultural and political issues. In 1835, the city’s rival theatres – one francophone, the other anglophone – raced to give the first performance of Giacomo Meyerbeer’s Robert le diable, bringing tensions between their respective communities to a head. This article explores Robert’s arrival in New Orleans, arguing that the...
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