But how does it compare to Andrew Lloyd Webber?
Méhul's Ossianic opera is a Scotch broth of storm-tossed forests, wronged lairds, hardy lasses, bards, and warriors; an exercise in mood and atmosphere. And not a violin to be heard.
Méhul plays a musical trick on Napoleon.
A ruler in disguise, a brigand chief, a wicked emir, and a beautiful maiden in this Arabian Nights fantasy.
Médée is something new - and dangerous.
Napoleon admired Méhul, the leading French composer of the Revolutionary age. This opera about a prince dying from love was one of his greatest successes.
The first Romantic opera, and the foundation of the 19th century French school.