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  Partner: UNT Music Library
 Collection: Virtual Music Rare Book Room
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
Forza del sangue, e della pietà; drama per musica

Forza del sangue, e della pietà; drama per musica

Date: 1686
Creator: Fabrini, Giuseppe & Gigli, Girolamo, 1660-1722
Description: 1686 libretto for Giuseppe Fabrini's opera La forza del sangue, e della pietà. The music for all of Giuseppe Fabrini’s operas, including La forza del sangue e della pietà, is lost. However, the libretti by Gerolamo Gigli, have been preserved for these dramas that were performed at the Collegio Tolomei in Siena. La forza del sangue e della pietà translates as “The Force of Blood and Pity.”
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Omphale, tragedie en musique

Omphale, tragedie en musique

Date: 1701
Creator: Destouches, M. (André Cardinal), 1672-1749
Description: Omphale (1701) is one of Destouches’s contributions to the Lullian genre of the five-act tragédie en musique. Half a century after the premiere, Friedrich Melchior Grimm targeted the opera in his pamphlet “Lettre sur Omphale” (1752), which continued the earlier debate between advocates of Lully and Rameau. This written attack also precipitated the famous guerre des bouffons, which was sparked by a performance of Pergolesi’s La serva padrona (1733) in 1752.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Songs in the new opera call'd Arsinoe, queen of Cyprus

Songs in the new opera call'd Arsinoe, queen of Cyprus

Date: 1705
Creator: Clayton, Thomas, 1673-1725
Description: Thomas Clayton’s first opera, Arsinoe, Queen of Cyprus, premiered at Drury Lane in London on 16 January 1705. The opera initially enjoyed success, but two years later, Clayton’s second opera was not well-received. Part of Arsinoe’s popularity may have been due to Catherine Tofts' portrayal of the title character; Toft would later become a star of the English stage.
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
Les deux comtesses : opera bouffon imité de l'Italien et parodié sous la musique

Les deux comtesses : opera bouffon imité de l'Italien et parodié sous la musique

Date: 178-?
Creator: Paisiello, Giovanni, 1740-1816 & Framery, Nicolas Etienne, 1745-1810
Description: Paisiello’s comic operas were some of the most successful of the time. In point of fact, his operas enjoyed 251 performances in Vienna between 1783 and 1792, compared to 63 performances of Mozart’s operas. The intermezzo Le due comtesse, which first appeared in Rome (with an all-male cast) on 3 January 1776, was translated to French and parodied by Nicolas Etienne Framery, who also adapted Paisiello’s Il barbiere di Siviglia for the Parisian stage.
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
Giulio Cesare : opera in tre atti

Giulio Cesare : opera in tre atti

Date: [1743]
Creator: Handel, George Frideric, 1685-1759.
Description: This is a [ca. 1743] score of "Giulio Cesare," an Italian opera seria in three acts by Handel. The performance forces include: flute, oboe, horns (in A and D), strings (violin, viola, violoncello, bass), continuo (theorbo and viola da gamba), harp, chorus of mixed voices (soprano, alto, tenor, bass), and soloist singers. A list of solo arias and duets of each act appears on p.170 followed by a list containing the names of the subscribers on pp.[171-172]. Two mythological figures [possibly, the god Apollo and the Muse Erato] and musical instruments signed by the London engraver [John] Strongitharm of Pall Mall appear on the title page. The name of each character appear at the top of p.3 with the names of the actual performers inscribed with pencil. The names of the casting coincide with those listed in the Oxford Dictionary of Music (online, 2009): "the castratos Senesino, Gaetano Berenstadt and Giuseppe Bigonzi (Caesar, Ptolemy and Nirenus), Francesca Cuzzoni (Cleopatra), Margherita Durastanti (Sextus), Anastasia Robinson (Cornelia), Giuseppe Boschi (Achillas) and John Lagarde or Laguerre (Curius)."
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Momie

Momie

Date: [1778?]
Creator: Despréaux, Jean Étienne, 1748-1820.
Description: This is a ca. 1778 libretto for the burlesque opera in three acts "Momie" by a Jean Étiennethat Despréaux. The opera is a parody based on Leblanc du Roullet's libretto of "Iphigénie en Aulide," an opera by Christoph Willibald Gluck. The libretto includes the titles of the tunes at the opening of each scene. Page 6 of the library's copy is incorrectly numbered as page 9.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library