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 Collection: Jean-Baptiste Lully Collection
Zéphire et Flore; opéra en musique

Zéphire et Flore; opéra en musique

Date: 1688
Creator: Lully, Louis de, 1664-1734 & Duboullay, Michel
Description: Zephire et Flore, the only opera attributed to Louis and Jean-Louis Lully, sons of Jean-Baptiste Lully, sets a libretto by Michel Du Boullay based on episodes from Greek mythology. It was performed for the first time 22 March 1688 at the Palais Royale in Paris. There is no record of a court performance, and it was revived only once, in June of 1715, with revisions by Destouches. We know of no modern performances, nor recordings of the opera in whole or in part.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Thesee : tragédie

Thesee : tragédie

Date: 1675~
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687 & Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688
Description: Thesée, which premiered at the court theater at St. Germain-en-laye on January 11, 1675, was Jean-Baptiste Lully's third tragédie lyrique created in collaboration with librettist Philippe Quinault. As in most of his libretti for Lully, Quinault combines a plot based on a classical source (an episode from Ovid's Metamorphoses) with references to contemporary events. The Prologue alludes to Louis XIV's personal leadership in the military engagements in the Alsace (along the French/German border). The juxtaposition of Venus' entreaties for pleasure with Mars' call to arms reflects a period of unease during which the French armies were in retreat from the armies of the Elector of Brandenburg. This resulted in the unique joining of songs of love with songs of war and victory.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Proserpine : tragedie mise en musique

Proserpine : tragedie mise en musique

Date: 1707
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687 & Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688
Description: With Proserpine, composer Jean-Baptiste Lully returned to his collaboration with librettist Philippe Quinault, which had been interrupted when the poet was banned from Court for offending Madame de Montespan (the king's mistress) with unflattering references in Isis. By 1679, Quinault had been restored to favor. Proserpine was first performed at St. Germain-en-Laye in February of 1680. Though seventeenth-century audiences were familiar with the story of Proserpine being carried off into Hades from numerous ballets and stage plays, Quinault returned to the source in Ovid's Metamorphoses to embellish the plot. In addition to details drawn from Ovid, Quinault added some of his own, making Proserpine among the most convoluted of Lully's operas. While the prologue alludes to King Louis XIV in the guise of Jupiter, the play itself refers specifically to the king's recent victories over the Spanish and Dutch when Jupiter battles and defeats the giants. Robert Isherwood notes that Jupiter's trip to Phrygia may represent Louis' inspection of Flanders after its defeat in 1679.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Phaëton : tragédie mise en musique

Phaëton : tragédie mise en musique

Date: 1683
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687 & Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688
Description: Like many of the operas created by composer Jean-Baptiste Lully and Philippe Quinault, his favorite librettist, Phaëton is filled with solar symbolism--a reference to the "Sun King," Louis XIV. The story also provides a political lesson: the haughty youth unable to contend with his position of power served as a warning to anyone brash enough to challenge the rigid mores of Louis' court. In addition to this political interpretation, the story is also a character study of a reckless juvenile whose arrogance destroys him. Phaëton's misguided and inappropriate attempts to make his lineage public bring about his downfall. The plot, like that of several of Lully's operas, is based on an episode in Ovid's Metamorphoses.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Thesée; tragedie mise en musique

Thesée; tragedie mise en musique

Date: 1711
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687 & Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688
Description: Thesée, which premiered at the court theater at St. Germain-en-laye on January 11, 1675, was Jean-Baptiste Lully's third tragédie lyrique created in collaboration with librettist Philippe Quinault. As in most of his libretti for Lully, Quinault combines a plot based on a classical source (an episode from Ovid's Metamorphoses) with references to contemporary events. The Prologue alludes to Louis XIV's personal leadership in the military engagements in the Alsace (along the French/German border). The juxtaposition of Venus' entreaties for pleasure with Mars' call to arms reflects a period of unease during which the French armies were in retreat from the armies of the Elector of Brandenburg. This resulted in the unique joining of songs of love with songs of war and victory.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Phaëton. Tragedie mise en musique

Phaëton. Tragedie mise en musique

Date: 1709
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687 & Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688
Description: Like many of the operas created by composer Jean-Baptiste Lully and Philippe Quinault, his favorite librettist, Phaëton is filled with solar symbolism--a reference to the "Sun King," Louis XIV. The story also provides a political lesson: the haughty youth unable to contend with his position of power served as a warning to anyone brash enough to challenge the rigid mores of Louis' court. In addition to this political interpretation, the story is also a character study of a reckless juvenile whose arrogance destroys him. Phaëton's misguided and inappropriate attempts to make his lineage public bring about his downfall. The plot, like that of several of Lully's operas, is based on an episode in Ovid's Metamorphoses.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Persée : tragedie

Persée : tragedie

Date: 1722
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687 & Philippe Quinault, 1635-1688
Description: King Louis XIV's involvement in campaigns against the Dutch/Swedish alliance in early 1682 prevented him from attending the premiere of Persée in April of that year. As was customary in the operas of composer Jean-Baptiste Lully and librettist Philippe Quinault, the prologue included references to current battlefield exploits and portrayed the king as a paragon of virtue. The prologues of previous Lully operas emphasized glory and prowess over virtue; the change in emphasis in Persée may have resulted from the increased influence of Madame de Maintenon (the king's new mistress) in the court and her pension for decorum.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Le triomphe de l'amour

Le triomphe de l'amour

Date: 1681~
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687
Description: Le Triomphe de l'Amour, a ballet de cour created by composer Jean-Baptiste Lully and librettists Isaac de Benserade and Philippe Quinault, was danced for the first time at Saint-Germain-en-Laye on January 21, 1681. Several setbacks, including the illness of the dauphin and the reluctance of court ladies to attend the ballet, postponed its premiere for nearly three months. Benserade, one of the creators of the ballet de cour, was drawn out of retirement to create verses in celebration of the dauphin's marriage to Marie-Anne-Christine-Victoire of Bavaria. The first public performance at the Palais Royale in Paris took place May 6, 1681.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Le triomphe de l'amour : ballet royal

Le triomphe de l'amour : ballet royal

Date: 1681
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687; Benserade, Isaac de, 1613-1691 & Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688
Description: Le Triomphe de l'Amour, a ballet de cour created by composer Jean-Baptiste Lully and librettists Isaac de Benserade and Philippe Quinault, was danced for the first time at Saint-Germain-en-Laye on January 21, 1681. Several setbacks, including the illness of the dauphin and the reluctance of court ladies to attend the ballet, postponed its premiere for nearly three months. Benserade, one of the creators of the ballet de cour, was drawn out of retirement to create verses in celebration of the dauphin's marriage to Marie-Anne-Christine-Victoire of Bavaria. The first public performance at the Palais Royale in Paris took place May 6, 1681.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Isis : tragedie

Isis : tragedie

Date: 1677
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687
Description: Isis, which premiered January 5, 1677, at St. Germain-en-Laye, was the fifth of Jean-Baptiste Lully's tragédies lyriques written with librettist Philippe Quinault. The plot is loosely adapted from one of the episodes in Ovid's Metamorphoses. In many of its essentials, the plot of Isis resembles that of Lully's previous opera, Atys. In Isis, the nymph Io, daughter of the river Inachus, is promised in marriage to Hierax, just as the nymph Sangaride, daughter of the river Sangar, was promised to Celoenus. Like Sangaride, Io is pursued by another love and yields to this love in spite of her feelings of guilt. Like Sangaride, Io has a goddess as a rival and is vulnerable to her jealousy. Lully's contemporaries interpreted this story as representing the volatile situation between two of the King's mistresses. The subsequent scandale of the premiere ended the collaboration between Lully and Quinault for a time, and led to the dismissal of a number of members of Lully's artistic circle.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library