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Musicology: "Operatic Staging in Paris in the 1780s as Seen Through the Eyes of a Cellist in the Orchestra'
During the 1780s a cellist at the Opéra known only as Monsieur Hivart served as an agent for the opera-loving Russian nobleman Nicholas Sheremetev. Hivart's letters to Sheremetev, preserved in the Russian State Historical Archive in St. Petersburg, contain valuable eyewitness accounts about how opera was staged in Paris. After briefly discussing Sheremetev's activities as a patron of opera and his relations with Hivart, this paper will focus on what Hivart's letters tell us about the first production of Salieri's Les Danaïdes, one of the most successful French operas of the 1780s.