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 Collection: Virtual Music Rare Book Room
Tancrède:  tragédie

Tancrède: tragédie

Date: 1702
Creator: Campra, André, 1660-1744
Description: André Campra’s Tancrède, which premiered on 7 November 1702, is his best-known tragédie en musique, with a run of performances until 1764, and high praise by noteworthy music personalities such as Rameau. While the music critic La Cerf de la Viéville wrote positive comments about Tancrède, he was bothered by the opera’s use of low voices, which defied the tradition of employing castrati parts. Additionally, the role of Clorinda was written for a well-known contralto named Mademoiselle Maupin; although the range is that of a mezzo-soprano, the powerful quality of Maupin’s voice seemed to be a prime consideration for Campra.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Le mariage d'Antonio. Divertissement en un acte et en prose

Le mariage d'Antonio. Divertissement en un acte et en prose

Date: 1786
Creator: Grétry, Lucile
Description: Lucile Grétry’s opera Le mariage d’Antonio premiered in Paris when she was a mere fourteen years old. As the second daughter of André-Ernest-Modeste Grétry, she was afforded lessons at a young age in counterpoint and declamation. Her father supplied the orchestral parts for her comédie mêlée d’ariettes after Lucile had composed the vocal, bass, and harp parts. Although Le mariage d’Antonio was a modest success, Lucile’s second endeavor, a divertissement mêlée d’ariettes entitled Toinette et Louis (1787), did not receive the same positive attention. The young composer died from tuberculosis before she could establish herself further at the Comédie-Italienne.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Barbier de Seville [Il barbiere di Siviglia] Opéra comique en quatre actes

Barbier de Seville [Il barbiere di Siviglia] Opéra comique en quatre actes

Date: 1789
Creator: Paisiello, Giovanni, 1740-1816
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Mélomanie : opera comique en un acte en vers mêlé d'ariettes mis en musique

Mélomanie : opera comique en un acte en vers mêlé d'ariettes mis en musique

Date: 1781
Creator: Champein, Stanislas, 1753-1830
Description: During his early career, Champein was known for church music composed while he worked as music master at the collegiate church in Pignon (in the southern Provence region of France). He moved to Paris and established himself as an operatic composer; La mélomanie (1781) is one of his most famous operas, and it remained in the repertoire at the Opéra-Comique until 1829. La mélomanie actually mocks the debate between French and Italian styles of music, with Fugantini as an Italian who is rejected by the French Elise. References to harmony (a French feature) and melody (emphasized by advocates of Italian music) abound in the opera.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Orphée et Euridice; tragédie; opéra en trois actes

Orphée et Euridice; tragédie; opéra en trois actes

Date: 1783
Creator: Gluck, Christoph Willibald, Ritter von, 1714-1787
Description: The Viennese premiere of Orfeo was extremely well received, and Gluck decided to revise the opera as Orphée et Eurydice for Paris in 1774, with the French adaptation and additions provided by Pierre Louis Moline. The role of Orpheus was lowered slightly for an haute-contre singer (a male operatic voice type more in line with an alto range), adhering to French preferences. The opera was lengthened, to create a more magnificent spectacle, with extra arias, ensembles, and instrumental numbers. Gluck also modified the orchestration to accommodate the orchestra at the Académie Royale de Musique. This version, Orphée et Eurydice, became one of the most popular operas in France.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Épreuve villageoise : opéra bouffon en deux actes en vers

Épreuve villageoise : opéra bouffon en deux actes en vers

Date: 1784
Creator: Grétry, André Ernest Modeste, 1741-1813
Description: L’épreuve villageoise started out as Théodore et Paulin before Grétry convinced Desforges to rewrite the libretto. The original three-act opera was reduced to two acts, and the improbabilities of the original plot were reworked. Théodore et Paulin received one performance at Versailles on 5 March 1784, but it was never published. L’épreuve villageoise appeared at the Comédie-Italienne on 24 June 1784. This revision remained one of the most popular of Grétry’s opéra-comiques, receiving performances throughout the nineteenth century.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Le Huron : comedie en deux actes, et en vers

Le Huron : comedie en deux actes, et en vers

Date: 1768
Creator: Gretry, André Ernest Modeste, 1741-1813
Description: Grétry’s Le Huron takes as its source a short story called L’ingénu (Geneva, 1767), written by Voltaire under the name Dulaurens. The story was banned two months after its publication due to anti-government themes. For instance, the young man raised by the Hurons (the title character of the opera) was imprisoned for expressing his radical ideas about issues such as the treatment of the Huguenots. Voltaire’s character is derived from another source, the novel Bélisaire by Marmontel, in which a man is framed for a crime and awaiting the death penalty before being released. Marmontel, who corresponded regularly with Voltaire, created the libretto for Grétry’s opera. However, most controversial aspects of the story were eliminated or downplayed for the censors, and as a result, the anti-religious message is absent from Le Huron.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Panurge dans l'Isle des Lanternes : comédie lirique en trois actes

Panurge dans l'Isle des Lanternes : comédie lirique en trois actes

Date: 1785
Creator: Grétry, André Ernest Modeste, 1741-1813
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Richard Cœur de Lion : opéra comique en trois actes

Richard Cœur de Lion : opéra comique en trois actes

Date: 1838
Creator: Grétry, André Ernest Modeste, 1741-1813
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Servante maîtresse : comédie en deux actes mêlée d'ariettes

Servante maîtresse : comédie en deux actes mêlée d'ariettes

Date: 1755
Creator: Pergolesi, Giovanni Battista, 1710-1736
Description: The intermezzo La serva padrona first appeared between the acts of Pergolesi’s Il prigioniero superbo in 1733. This was the standard way in which to present an intermezzo. The work served as comic relief in the midst of more solemn opera serie, and incorporated elements of the improvisational commedia del’arte tradition. For instance, the few characters are drawn from stock types, such as the servant Serpina.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library