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  Partner: UNT Music Library
 Decade: 1780-1789
 Language: French
 Collection: Virtual Music Rare Book Room
Renaud : tragedie lyrique en trois actes

Renaud : tragedie lyrique en trois actes

Date: 1783
Creator: Sacchini, Antonio, 1730-1786
Description: Sacchini’s first opera for the French stage was Renaud. Although he had the support of Marie Antoinette, Sacchini quickly learned that foreign (especially Italian) composers in Paris faced difficulties. The premiere of Renaud was intentionally delayed in an attempt to highlight Sacchini’s privilege with the queen, and the opera did not enjoy immediate success, even from Piccinni’s supporters. However, Renaud went on to be performed frequently, appearing as late as 1815.
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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 & Morel de Chédeville, Etienne, 1747-1814
Description: None
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 & Desforges, M. (Pierre-Jean-Baptiste), 1746-1806
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
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 & Moline, M. (Pierre Louis), ca. 1740-1821
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.
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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 & Grenier
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
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; Beaumarchais, Pierre Augustin Caron de, 1732-1799 & Framery, Nicolas Etienne, 1745-1810
Description: None
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
Les Danaïdes, tragédie lirique en cinq actes

Les Danaïdes, tragédie lirique en cinq actes

Date: 1784
Creator: Salieri, Antonio, 1750-1825; Du Roullet, François Louis Gaud Lebland, marquis, 1716-1786 & Tschudi, Jean-Baptiste-Louis-Théodore, baron de, 1734-1784
Description: Antonio Salieri began work on Les Danaïdes upon the recommendation of Gluck, whose health prevented him from fulfilling a commission for the work. Although Salieri was living in Vienna, the tragedie-lyrique was written for the Opéra in Paris, with a libretto by François Louis Gand Leblanc Roullet and Ludwig Theodor Tschudi based on Calzabigi’s Italian libretto.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Iphigénie en Tauride. Tragédie lirique en quatre actes

Iphigénie en Tauride. Tragédie lirique en quatre actes

Date: 1781
Creator: Piccinni, Niccolò, 1728-1800 & Dubreil, Alphonse Ducongé, 1734-1801
Description: The contrast between Piccinni and Gluck can perhaps best be illustrated with Iphigénie en Tauride, as Piccinni’s opera appeared just two years after Gluck’s work on the same subject. In fact, supporters of Piccinni (“Piccinnistes”) hoped that the Italian composer would demonstrate the superiority of his style with Iphigénie, and scholars have used these settings to illustrate the difference between the two composers.
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Le devin du village

Le devin du village

Date: 1785
Creator: Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, 1712-1778
Description: As with many French operas, Rousseau’s Le devin du village was first staged for the court, appearing at Fountainebleau on 18 October 1752. The work was then performed at the Paris Opéra on 1 March 1753. The historical importance of this short intermè is closely tied to its role in the famous Querelle de bouffons, a debate about the merits of French serious opera in comparison to Italian comic opera (especially Pergolesi’s La serva padrona).
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Dardanus : tragédie lyrique en quatre actes

Dardanus : tragédie lyrique en quatre actes

Date: 1784
Creator: Sacchini, Antonio, 1730-1786; Guillard, Nicolas François, 1752-1814 & La Bruère, Le Clerc de, 1714-1754
Description: Like Renaud, Sacchini’s second French opera, Dardanus, faced problems due in large part to the composer’s Italian heritage. The opera is based on Rameau’s Dardanus, which had been a topic of earlier dispute between the Lullistes and the Ramistes. After an initially disappointing reception, Dardanus was reduced from four acts to three. In its first form, the opera received only six performances, but the three-act version was performed more than thirty times during the eighteenth century. Dardanus went on to enjoy several productions in the first decade of the nineteenth century.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Colinette à la cour ou La double épreuve : comédie lyrique en trois actes

Colinette à la cour ou La double épreuve : comédie lyrique en trois actes

Date: 1782
Creator: Grétry, André Ernest Modeste, 1741-1813 & Lourdet de Santerre, Jean Baptiste, 1732-1815
Description: A comparison of the scores for Colinette à la cour and Barbe-bleue illustrates the primary distinguishing factor between the genres of comédie lyrique and opera comique: the method of dialogue delivery. In Paris, the issue of genre was tied to the performance venue of a particular opera, due to government regulations. Although comic opera was traditionally presented with spoken dialogue, as in opera comique, when Grétry composed for the Opéra, where recitative was expected, he merged comic subject matter with the sung dialogue heard in serious opera.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Barbe bleue : comédie en prose et en trois actes

Barbe bleue : comédie en prose et en trois actes

Date: 1789
Creator: Grétry, André Ernest Modeste, 1741-1813 & Sedaine, 1719-1797
Description: Although the story of Bluebeard was familiar to French readers from Charles Perrault’s 1698 collection of children’s tales, transferring it to the operatic stage was problematic due in large part to the gruesome nature of the plot. Other violent works had appeared in Paris, but in this instance, the drama was to be performed at the Comédie-Italienne, which typically featured lighter plots than that of Raoul and Isaure. Nevertheless, the opera had a successful run, receiving over a hundred performances in the decade after its premiere. After its initial popularity, Raoul Bluebeard was staged less frequently, but it still made an impression on nineteenth-century composers, particularly Weber.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Atys : tragédie lyrique en trois actes

Atys : tragédie lyrique en trois actes

Date: 1781
Creator: Piccinni, Niccolò, 1728-1800; Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688 & Marmontel, Jean François, 1723-1799
Description: The story of Atys was first known operatically through Lully’s opera that premiered in 1676 at the court of St Germain-en-Laye. Marmontel adapted Quinault’s libretto and modified it by removing the prologue and divertissements. He also altered the plot; in lieu of Ovid’s metamorphic ending (to which Quinault had adhered), Atys commits suicide.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Atys : tragédie lyrique en trois actes

Atys : tragédie lyrique en trois actes

Date: 1780
Creator: Piccinni, Niccolò, 1728-1800; Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688 & Marmontel, Jean François, 1723-1799
Description: The story of Atys was first known operatically through Lully’s opera that premiered in 1676 at the court of St Germain-en-Laye. Marmontel adapted Quinault’s libretto and modified it by removing the prologue and divertissements. He also altered the plot; in lieu of Ovid’s metamorphic ending (to which Quinault had adhered), Atys commits suicide.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Armide:  Drame héroique, mis en musique

Armide: Drame héroique, mis en musique

Date: 1783
Creator: Gluck, Christoph Willibald, Ritter von, 1714-1787
Description: Armide was premiered at the Paris Opéra on September 23, 1777, recalling the earlier success of Lully’s opera of the same name, which premiered nearly a century earlier on February 15, 1686. After collaborating on several reform operas with Calzabigi, Gluck revived the older dramatic tradition of Quinault (Lully's librettist) by setting the older text in the modern musical style. The seventeenth-century five act model requires more continuous music, with few distinct arias, as well as divertissements and spectacular effects. Gluck also respects the tragic conclusion endemic to the model, avoiding the modern practice of the lieto fine ("happy ending") in which misfortunes are reversed at the last possible moment.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Armide:  Drame héroique, mis en musique

Armide: Drame héroique, mis en musique

Date: 1783
Creator: Gluck, Christoph Willibald, Ritter von, 1714-1787
Description: Armide was premiered at the Paris Opéra on September 23, 1777, recalling the earlier success of Lully’s opera of the same name, which premiered nearly a century earlier on February 15, 1686. After collaborating on several reform operas with Calzabigi, Gluck revived the older dramatic tradition of Quinault (Lully's librettist) by setting the older text in the modern musical style. The seventeenth-century five act model requires more continuous music, with few distinct arias, as well as divertissements and spectacular effects. Gluck also respects the tragic conclusion endemic to the model, avoiding the modern practice of the lieto fine ("happy ending") in which misfortunes are reversed at the last possible moment.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library