Gounod’s Mireille

Gounod’s Mireille is a bit of a rarity and with good reason.  It’s got everything that modern audiences find hard to take in 19th century French opera.  It’s revoltingly wholesome with a bit of the supernatural, some patriarchal nastiness and a whole lot of Catholic schmaltz thrown in culminating in a final scene where the dying heroine (of course the heroine dies!) is carried off to heaven by angels while everybody else is suitably pious.  It also has some pretty good tunes and a fiendishly difficult soprano lead part.

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