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This concert took place on the Long Island City waterfront at Socrates Sculpture Park, and featured scenes from operas that voice the spirit of the French revolution.

Composers included Chevalier de Saint-Georges, Francis Poulenc, Umberto Giordano, and Georges Bizet.

Chevalier de Saint-Georges, often called “The Black Mozart,” lived and fought during the revolution. Born in Guadeloupe, he was the son of a French Plantation owner and a slave who moved to Paris to live in Marie Antoinette’s court. The concert at Socrates Sculpture Park features music from his opera L’Amant anonyme, [1780], which tells the story of a lover who is afraid to reveal his true identity to the object of his affections.

Dialogues des Carmélites by Francis Poulenc was written during the twentieth century, but is set during the period of the French revolution. It looks at the events of the revolution and terror from the perspective of the nuns and clergy who maintained their ideals throughout the time of upheaval.

In Andrea Chénier, Italian verismo composer Umberto Giordano was inspired by events of the revolution, and the historical French poet André Chénier, who was executed during the final days of the “Reign of Terror.”

 The spirit of the independence is embodied in what is perhaps the most iconic and popular of French operas, Carmen, by Georges Bizet. An operatic tribute to French culture would not be complete without it.