A tension thus emerged between opera, which la…

A tension thus emerged between opera, which laboured to be serious, and ballets, which manifestly and increasingly were not.  French opera was still (like the ballet de cour) an umbrella form, which encompassed both, but exactly what direction it should take was as yet uncertain, and the ensuing years spun forth a dizzying array of loosely-related genres that mixed opera and ballet in varying quotients.  People were very much aware of this shifting situation, and ballet and opera became the subject of contentious debate.