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 Decade: 1780-1789
 Collection: Virtual Music Rare Book Room
Thomas and Sally

Thomas and Sally

Date: 1782
Creator: Arne, Thomas Augustine, 1710-1778
Description: 1782 vocal score of Thomas Arne's opera Thomas and Sally, or the Sailors return. Dramatic pastoral in two acts by Thomas Augustine Arne to a libretto by Isaac Bickerstaff; London, Covent Garden, 28 November 1760. Thomas and Sally can claim to be the first all-sung English comic opera. It is noteworthy as well for the introduction of clarinets into the orchestra (Grove Music Online).
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Prima la musica e poi le parole

Prima la musica e poi le parole

Date: [1786]
Creator: Casti, Giovanni Battista, 1724-1803.
Description: This is a copy of Giovanni Battista Casti's libretto for the comic opera "Prima la musica e poi le parole". On the back of the t.p. appears a list of characters and names Antonio Salieri as the composer of the music. The one-act opera was commissioned by Emperor Joseph II. Members of the Burgtheater's Italian troupe premiered it at the Schönbrunn Palace on February 7, 1786. The library's copy is bound with the libretto of Zaccaria Valaresso's "Rutzvanscad, il giovine."
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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