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 Language: French
 Collection: Virtual Music Rare Book Room
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.
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Thetis et Pelée; tragédie en musique

Thetis et Pelée; tragédie en musique

Date: 1716
Creator: Collasse, Pascal, 1649-1709 & Fontenelle, M. de (Bernard Le Bovier), 1657-1757
Description: Pascal Collasse was one of the few opera composers able to secure successful performances in the years following Lully’s death. Collasse then went on to supply the music for the entire opera, Thétis et Pélée, which was premiered at the Paris Opéra on 11 January 1689. Thétis remained popular throughout Collasse’s lifetime, in spite of its rather weak plot. Owing to its success is primarily the music, including a significant storm scene in Act II. This departure from the Lullian tradition is perhaps Collasse’s most significant contribution to the tradition of French opera.
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Isis; tragedie mise en musique

Isis; tragedie mise en musique

Date: 1719
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687 & Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688
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.
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Atys : tragedie mise en musique

Atys : tragedie mise en musique

Date: 1720
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687 & Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688
Description: Atys, which premiered on 10 January 1676, is the first of the tragédies lyriques of Jean-Baptiste Lully and Philippe Quinault to have a tragic ending. As the Prologue indicates, the tragedie itself is a divertissement to ease the king's mind of his impending duties. Joyce Newman, in Jean-Baptiste de Lully and his Tragédie Lyriques, summarizes the message of the story in this way: "In [Atys], Quinault shows how actions which are not in accord with the noble ideal will bring defeat and punishment. Not only is love in opposition to glory in this opera, but also it is shown that if love is place more highly than honor, it will bring unhappiness even to one of the immortals."
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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.
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Les amours des dieux : ballet heroique

Les amours des dieux : ballet heroique

Date: 1727
Creator: Mouret, Jean Joseph, 1682-1738
Description: None
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Le voyage de Cythere

Le voyage de Cythere

Date: 1727
Creator: Villeneuve, Alexandre de, 1677-1756
Description: This secular cantata for soprano and basso continuo features obbligato flute and violin. The introductory letter addresses not a royal patron but a commercial one - the women that would sing this cantata.
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Le triomphe des sens

Le triomphe des sens

Date: 1732
Creator: Mouret, Jean-Joseph, 1682-1738
Description: This opera (ballet héroique) is comprised of five acts with a prologue. It was premiered on 29 May 1732 at L'accademie Royale de Musique in Paris. This score opens with a letter of dedication from the composer "A Son Altesse Serenissime Monseigneur Le Prince de Dombes." Next, Mouret includes two tables of contents: one of the dances (Airs de Simphonie) and the other, of the arias (Airs à Chanter). The following pages lists other publications by Mouret including prices and where these items may be purchased. Vocal lines are set apart from instrumental ones by text underlay and, in the case of high voices, the use of the standard treble clef. (The violin parts use the French clef.
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Nouvelles Poesies Morales sur Les Plus Beaux Airs de la Musique Francoise et Italienne avec la Basse.: Fables Choisies Dans le gout de M. De La Fontaine, Sur des Vaudevilles & petits Airs aisés à chanter, avec leur Basse & une Basse en Musette.  Recueil I.  6 liv. broché.

Nouvelles Poesies Morales sur Les Plus Beaux Airs de la Musique Francoise et Italienne avec la Basse.: Fables Choisies Dans le gout de M. De La Fontaine, Sur des Vaudevilles & petits Airs aisés à chanter, avec leur Basse & une Basse en Musette. Recueil I. 6 liv. broché.

Date: 1737
Creator: La Fontaine, Jean de, 1621-1695
Description: This score is a collection of poetry and set to music including moral fables (marked on the table of contents with an asterisk). Each piece has words written with musical lines in treble, bass, or a combination of both. Includes a preface ('Avis.') and table of contents for the movements prior to page 1 for each of the seven collections ('recueil'). The pagination restarts for each collection and for the fables which fall at the end of each section.
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Les Elemens

Les Elemens

Date: 1742
Creator: Destouches, André Cardinal, 1672-1749
Description: This four-act ballet was premiered on 22 December 1721 at the Tullieries and, later, performed at L'Academie Royale de Musique on 29 May 1725 and 27 May 1734, and at the Theatre on 22 May 1742. Various dramatis personae present an allegorical depiction of the French court.
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Dardanus : nouvelle tragédie

Dardanus : nouvelle tragédie

Date: 1744
Creator: Rameau, Jean Philippe, 1683-1764 & La Bruère, Le Clerc de, 1714-1754
Description: Dardanus went through a number of revisions from the time of its premiere in 1739 until its final eighteenth-century run at the Opéra in 1771. The version in the Virtual Rare Book Room was first performed in 1744; the last three acts exhibit extensive plot changes from the first edition. The final version in 1760 received the most positive acclaim, especially compared to the criticisms that were made about the nonsensical plot of the first version. By this point, however, the polemic between the Lullistes and the Ramistes, which had surrounded the premiere, had subsided.
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Platée : comédie-ballet

Platée : comédie-ballet

Date: 1749
Creator: Rameau, Jean Philippe, 1683-1764 & Le Valois d'Orville, Adrien-Joseph
Description: Jacques Autreau’s play Platée, ou Junon jalouse was based on a story by a second-century Greek author named Pausanias who chronicled his travels (including rituals and traditions) in ten books that represent the different regions of Greece. At the time Le Valois d’Orville appropriated Autreau’s drama for a libretto, it was uncommon for French court operas to include comic features, and even Autreau’s spoken play lacked the comic tone of the opera. Yet, the humor extends beyond the plot; for instance, the sounds of frogs and birds are represented instrumentally. Platée was first performed at Versailles for the wedding of the dauphin and Princess Maria Theresa of Spain in 1745.
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Fileuse : parodie d'Omphale

Fileuse : parodie d'Omphale

Date: 1752
Creator: Vade, M. (Jean Joseph), 1719-1757 & Destouches, M. (André Cardinal), 1672-1749
Description: When Vadé’s first opera comique, La fileuse, appeared at the Foire St Germain on 8 March 1752, the tragic opera that it parodied—Destouches’s Omphale (1701)—had recently been criticized by Friedrich Melchior Grimm in his “Lettre sur Omphale.” Soon after this attack on “bad taste” in French music, the Querelle des Bouffons heated up, with debates about the merits of Italian comic opera versus French serious opera. Many mid-eighteenth-century French comic parodies were based on familiar serious operas, but following the Querelle des Bouffons, lyrical Italianate melodies were incorporated into the opera comique genre. Vadé’s La fileuse follows the older model of reworking existing tunes to new texts, including a vaudeville finale; later in his career, he composed some original airs.
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Titon Et L'Aurore

Titon Et L'Aurore

Date: 1753
Creator: Mondonville, Jean Joseph Cassanea de, 1711-1772
Description: This three-act opera (Monsigny's Op. 8) is dedicated to Monseigneur le Prince de Soubise and was premiered at L'Academie Royalle de Musique on 9 January 1753. This full score opens with a letter of dedication from the composer to his patron and closes with a document describing royal publishing privilege.
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Amour au village : opera-comique, en un acte, et en vaudeviles

Amour au village : opera-comique, en un acte, et en vaudeviles

Date: 1754
Creator: Favart, M. (Charles-Simon), 1710-1792
Description: Libretto for Charles-Simon Favart's 1754 opera L'amour au village. Charles-Simon Favart gained prominence for his parodies of extant operas during the middle of the eighteenth century. His L’amour au village (1754), a typical example of the genre, was based on Carolet’s L’amour paysan (1737). The parody technique consisted of setting new texts to existing melodies and writing new dialogue based on a familiar plot. L’amour au village includes a typical vaudeville finale. In the Virtual Rare Book Room’s volume, the melody is included along with the first verse’s text. Because vaudeville finales are strophic (with one repeated melody), the subsequent verses are numbered to indicate each time the melody should begin again.
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Le trompeur trompe, ou, La rencontre imprevue. Opera-comique en un acte. Represente pour la premiere fois sur le Theatre de la Foire S. Germain, le 18 fevrier 1754.

Le trompeur trompe, ou, La rencontre imprevue. Opera-comique en un acte. Represente pour la premiere fois sur le Theatre de la Foire S. Germain, le 18 fevrier 1754.

Date: 1754
Creator: Vade, M. (Jean Joseph), 1719-1757.
Description: In the mid-eighteenth century, comic opera librettos served a dual purpose, as evinced by the libretto to Vadé ’s Trompeur trompé (1754). Although the primary function of the publication was to allow audience members to follow along with the text of the opera, solo airs were printed in the back of the book. Not all the melodies are included, but those printed in the libretto enhance our understanding of an opera the music of which was never published as a comprehensive musical score.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Oeuvres de M. Vade, ou recueil des opera-comiques, & parodies qu'il a donnes depuis quelques annees; avec les airs, rondes, & vaudevilles notes; & autres ouvrages du meme auteur.

Oeuvres de M. Vade, ou recueil des opera-comiques, & parodies qu'il a donnes depuis quelques annees; avec les airs, rondes, & vaudevilles notes; & autres ouvrages du meme auteur.

Date: 1755
Creator: Vade, M. (Jean Joseph), 1719-1757.
Description: Jean-Joseph Vadé’s popularity as a composer and librettist is evident in the publication of his collected works, which first appeared in 1755 but was expanded in 1758, a year after his death. Vadé’s œuvre consists of mostly opéras comiques, some with original music rather than preexisting tunes. The collected works editions include fictional correspondence and poetry. Vadé’s interest in capturing the bustling atmosphere of fish markets is evident in such works as Les quatre bouquets poissards and the poem La pipe cassée, which is classified as a “poëme epitragipoissardiheroicomique.” Melodies for operatic airs are also printed in this volume. Although Vadé claimed authorship of the music, some were familiar tunes that had existed before Vadé appropriated them.
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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 & Federico, Gennaro Antonio, 18th cent
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.
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Cendrillon

Cendrillon

Date: 1759
Creator: Anseaume, M. (Louis), 1721-1784.
Description: Libretto of the 1759 pastiche-style comic opera "Cendrillon," by Louis Anseaume. The songs were contributed by the singer-composer Jean-Louis Laruette and Egidio Duni, which they likely adapted from fashionable tunes. "Cendrillon" (Cinderella in English) premiered in Paris at Foire St-Germain on February 21, 1759. The opera underwent two revisions before the definitive version of 1764. Anseaume adapted the plot the fairy tale by Charles Perrault. This copy includes (from pp.54-63) notated melodies of airs and recitatives.
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Le cadi dupé, opéra bouffon en un acte, representé sur le Théatre de l'opera comique

Le cadi dupé, opéra bouffon en un acte, representé sur le Théatre de l'opera comique

Date: 1761
Creator: Monsigny, Pierre-Alexandre, 1729-1817
Description: The figured bass is unrealized in the full score of this one-act comic opera. Sung French text is underlaid; spoken text is printed before and after each song.
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Le roy et le fermier

Le roy et le fermier

Date: 1762
Creator: Monsigny, Pierre-Alexandre
Description: This three-act opera was premiered at the Comédie Italien on 22 November 1762.
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Les deux chasseurs et la laitière; comédie en un acte

Les deux chasseurs et la laitière; comédie en un acte

Date: 1763
Creator: Duni, Egidio, 1708-1775 & Anseaume, M. (Louis), 1721-1784
Description: Duni’s French style was shaped by the developments of the War of the Buffoons, which pitted French tragic opera against Italian comic opera. The newly emergent opéra comique genre, for which Duni is still considered to be one of the major contributors, combined elements of both styles. His significance in the development of opéra comique is evident in the long-term success of Les deux chasseurs et la laitière, which was performed at the Comédie-Italien until 1792, almost twenty years after the composer’s death.
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Les deux chasseurs et la laitière; comédie en un acte

Les deux chasseurs et la laitière; comédie en un acte

Date: 1763
Creator: Duni, Egidio, 1708-1775 & Anseaume, M. (Louis), 1721-1784
Description: Undated score of Egidio Duni's opera Les deux chaussures et la laitière. Duni’s French style was shaped by the developments of the War of the Buffoons, which pitted French tragic opera against Italian comic opera. The newly emergent opéra comique genre, for which Duni is still considered to be one of the major contributors, combined elements of both styles. His significance in the development of opéra comique is evident in the long-term success of Les deux chasseurs et la laitière, which was performed at the Comédie-Italien until 1792, almost twenty years after the composer’s death.
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Le tonnelier

Le tonnelier

Date: 1765
Creator: Audinot, Nicolas Médard, 1732-1801. & Quétant, Antoine-François, 1733-1823.
Description: Libretto of the comic opera "Le tonnelier" (The cooper) by Nicolas-Médard Audinot in collaboration with Antoine-François Quétant. The music of this one-act opera is a pasticcio of works by Gossec and other contemporaneous composers. Typical of the genre, the opera contains a variety of musical forms (airs, romance, vaudeville, and recitatives) and the dialogues are interspersed with additional airs, possibly using popular tunes. This copy includes (on pp. 52 and 54-56) notated melodies of airs.
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