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Don Juan, oder, Der Steinerne Gast : komische Oper in zwey Aufzügen, volume 2
By the time of Mozart and Da Ponte’s collaboration on Don Giovanni, the Don Juan legend had been represented in musical entertainments and on the popular stage a number of times. Although it was an unusual topic for Viennese court opera, the retelling of the Don Juan story was immensely appealing for the Italian troupe in Prague. Don Giovanni did eventually make its way to Vienna, but the opera did not meet the same success it had received in Prague. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85/
Don Juan, oder, Der Steinerne Gast : komische Oper in zwey Aufzügen, volume 1
By the time of Mozart and Da Ponte’s collaboration on Don Giovanni, the Don Juan legend had been represented in musical entertainments and on the popular stage a number of times. Although it was an unusual topic for Viennese court opera, the retelling of the Don Juan story was immensely appealing for the Italian troupe in Prague. Don Giovanni did eventually make its way to Vienna, but the opera did not meet the same success it had received in Prague. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84/
Armide
Armide, which premiered at the Paris Opéra February 15, 1686, was the last tragédie lyrique on which Jean-Baptiste Lully collaborated with his favorite librettist, Philippe Quinault. Quinault retired from the stage after Armide, and Lully died a year later on March 22, 1687. From its first performance, Armide was considered their masterpiece. Armide is unusual among Lully and Quinault's tragédies lyriques in that it concentrates on the psychological development of a single character; the reflective style of this late work may be regarded as an early presentiment of trends toward individualism in art. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc53/
Amadis; tragedie, mise en musique
The premiere of Amadis was delayed for a year after Lully completed its composition in order to allow the proper mourning period for Marie Thérese, wife of Louis XIV, who died in July of 1683. While still abstaining from theater at court, Louis XIV at last allowed the first public presentation of Amadis at the Opéra in Paris on 18 January 1684. It was an immediate public success. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc51/
Alceste: tragedie opera en trois actes
According to Grove Music, "when Admetus, King of Pherae in Thessaly, is ill and about to die an oracle announces that he will be saved if someone else is willing to die in his stead. His wife Alcestis displays her conjugal devotion by offering herself; she dies and Admetus recovers. Under the influence of tragédie lyrique, Calzabigi enriched his libretto with choruses, ballets and opportunities for impressive scenery." digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc34/
Armide: Drame héroique, mis en musique
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc45/
Armide: Drame héroique, mis en musique
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc56/
Armide: drame héroïque
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67/
Atys : tragedie
Atys, which premiered on 10 January 1676, is the first of the tragédies lyriques of Jean-Baptiste Lully and Philippe Quinault to conclude with a tragic ending. 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 placed more highly than honor, it will bring unhappiness even to one of the immortals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc54/
Atys : tragedie mise en musique
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." digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc57/
Atys : tragédie lyrique en trois actes
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30/
Atys; tragedie mise en musique
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." digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc55/
Atys : tragédie lyrique en trois actes
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31/
Bellérophon; tragedie mise en musique
Although not the first of the Jean-Baptiste Lully's tragédies lyriques, Bellérophon was the first of Lully's opera scores to appear in print. The Ballard first edition was printed in 1679 to accompany the premiere, on January 31 of that year, at the Palais Royale. Bellérophon was the second of two operas (the first was Psyché) created by Lully without librettist Philippe Quinault after the scandal associated with Isis that led to Quinault's temporary dismissal as royal librettist. After an extended illness during which he did not compose, Lully collaborated with Thomas Corneille and Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle for the second time to create one of his most unqualified successes. Following the first performance in January 1679, Bellérophon played for nine months at the Palais Royale. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc58/
Barbe bleue : comédie en prose et en trois actes
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc17/
Colinette à la cour ou La double épreuve : comédie lyrique en trois actes
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc18/
Dardanus : nouvelle tragédie
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc37/
Dardanus : tragédie lyrique en quatre actes
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc42/
Le devin du village
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). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40/
Didon; tragédie lyrique en trois actes
With Didon, Piccinni demonstrated his ability to combine both Italian and French styles to create a compelling tragédie lyrique. The opera includes lyrical Italian melodies and a second-act finale, as well as French choruses and numbers that transition continuously without pauses. Didon was premiered at Fountainebleau on 16 October 1783, and it remained one of Piccinni’s most popular French operas, with performances through the first part of the nineteenth century. The story of Dido had been realized on the operatic stage before Piccinni’s setting, including Cavalli’s Didone (1641), Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (c. 1689), and Vinci’s Didone abbandonata (1726) with a libretto by Metastasio. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33/
Matrimonio segreto : dramma giocoso in due atti = ou, Le mariage secret : opera comiLe mariage secret : opera comique en deux actesque en deux actes
Domenico Cimarosa’s Il matrimonio segreto premiered at the Burgtheater in Vienna on 7 February 1792, just two months after Mozart’s death. It received immediate accolades, particularly from Emperor Leopold II, and the opera was performed a second time that day for a private audience that included the Holy Roman ruler. Il matrimonio segreto enjoyed a successful run that lasted almost a hundred years, with revised versions appearing in the second half of the nineteenth century; in 1933, the work was performed at the Library of Congress. Although the harmonic language is largely diatonic, Cimarosa’s beautiful melodies and exciting rhythms complement Bertati’s direct text. The opera presents the predicament of the secretly married couple without resorting to stock plot conventions such as characters in disguise, conveying the dramatic naturalness and simplicity promoted by Rousseau. The inventive orchestration, which includes clarinets, was another aspect of the opera that was praised by some (while Schumann appreciated the orchestration, Berlioz was unimpressed). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc82/
Iphigenie en Aulide; tragédie. Opera en trois actes
Although he did not have a production planned, Gluck composed the music for Iphigénie en Aulide for Paris, with the intention (along with Roullet) of establishing himself at the Opéra. He initially had difficulties convincing the Academy of Music to arrange for the production, but with the support of Marie Antoinette, the opera was finally realized in 1773. Gluck revised Iphigénie for performances in 1775. The most significant change was the addition of Diana as a character, whose appearance serves as the deus ex machina of the plot. He also altered and expanded the divertissements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc14/
Iphigenie en Aulide; tragédie. Opera en trois actes
Although he did not have a production planned, Gluck composed the music for Iphigénie en Aulide for Paris, with the intention (along with Roullet) of establishing himself at the Opéra. He initially had difficulties convincing the Academy of Music to arrange for the production, but with the support of Marie Antoinette, the opera was finally realized in 1773. Gluck revised Iphigénie for performances in 1775. The most significant change was the addition of Diana as a character, whose appearance serves as the deus ex machina of the plot. He also altered and expanded the divertissements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc15/
Iphigénie en Tauride. Tragédie lirique en quatre actes
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc35/
Isis; tragedie mise en musique
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc59/
Isis : tragedie
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc74/
Tom Jones; comedie lyrique en trois actes
Philidor’s Tom Jones is representative of the continental interest in English literature. Henry Fielding’s homonymous novel served as the foundation for Philidor’s opera, but Philidor pared down the story quite a bit, especially downplaying Tom’s philandering ways. Many secondary characters and situations were also cut, a common technique that librettists employ when adapting prose writings to the stage. Thus, a central plot unfolds in a manner that the audience can follow, and the length remains manageable for an evening’s entertainment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc36/
Les Danaïdes, tragédie lirique en cinq actes
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc46/
Le triomphe de l'amour : ballet royal
Le Triomphe de l'Amour, a ballet de cour created by composer Jean-Baptiste Lully and librettists Isaac de Benserade and Philippe Quinault, was danced for the first time at Saint-Germain-en-Laye on January 21, 1681. Several setbacks, including the illness of the dauphin and the reluctance of court ladies to attend the ballet, postponed its premiere for nearly three months. Benserade, one of the creators of the ballet de cour, was drawn out of retirement to create verses in celebration of the dauphin's marriage to Marie-Anne-Christine-Victoire of Bavaria. The first public performance at the Palais Royale in Paris took place May 6, 1681. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc72/
Le triomphe de l'amour
Le Triomphe de l'Amour, a ballet de cour created by composer Jean-Baptiste Lully and librettists Isaac de Benserade and Philippe Quinault, was danced for the first time at Saint-Germain-en-Laye on January 21, 1681. Several setbacks, including the illness of the dauphin and the reluctance of court ladies to attend the ballet, postponed its premiere for nearly three months. Benserade, one of the creators of the ballet de cour, was drawn out of retirement to create verses in celebration of the dauphin's marriage to Marie-Anne-Christine-Victoire of Bavaria. The first public performance at the Palais Royale in Paris took place May 6, 1681. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc75/
Tancrède: tragédie
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc23/
Le mariage d'Antonio. Divertissement en un acte et en prose
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc24/
Barbier de Seville [Il barbiere di Siviglia] Opéra comique en quatre actes
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26/
Mélomanie : opera comique en un acte en vers mêlé d'ariettes mis en musique
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc78/
Orphée et Euridice; tragédie; opéra en trois actes
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc16/
Épreuve villageoise : opéra bouffon en deux actes en vers
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc19/
Le Huron : comedie en deux actes, et en vers
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc20/
Panurge dans l'Isle des Lanternes : comédie lirique en trois actes
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc21/
Richard Cœur de Lion : opéra comique en trois actes
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc22/
Servante maîtresse : comédie en deux actes mêlée d'ariettes
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28/
Serva padrona : intermezzo
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29/
Buona figliuola : opera comica
Goldoni turned to Samuel Richardson’s novel Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded (1740) as the inspiration for his La buona figliuola. In 1750, he wrote the play Pamela nubile and then turned it into a libretto for Duni. Although Duni’s La buona figliuola (1756) was a failure, Piccinni’s setting in 1760 was a huge success. The hilarious comedy coupled with Piccinni’s sentimental treatment of Cecchina contributed to the popularity of the opera, which still receives performances to this day. Typical of opera buffe, La buona figliuola features chain-like finales that propel the plot and characters to the end of the act (at that time, sectional finales were new to Rome). Other features of his music that receive praise are the beautiful, Italianate melodies, energetic accompaniments, and the variety of musical treatment throughout the opera. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc32/
Platée : comédie-ballet
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc38/
Colonie : opéra comique en deux actes
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc41/
Renaud : tragedie lyrique en trois actes
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc43/
Finta pazza, drama.
Although Sacrati’s La finta pazza (1641) was immensely popular and influential, the opera has received little discussion in modern scholarship, due in large part to the absence of the music (even the number of extant copies of librettos is very small). Since Lorenzo Bianconi discovery of a score that was used for traveling productions, the opera has received increasing attention. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc44/
Tarare : opéra en cinq actes avec un prologue
Antonio Salieri’s French debut Les Danaïdes (1784) led to additional commissions, Les Horaces (1786) and Tarare (1787). Although Les Horaces was not well-received, Tarare was popular both in Paris and Vienna. Beaumarchais supplied the libretto for Tarare, basing his plot on the third volume of the exotic English collection The Tales of the Genii, or The Delightful Lessons of Horam, the Son of Asmar (1764) by James Ridley, (pseudonym for Sir Charles Morell), who claimed the stories were translated from a Persian source. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc47/
Persée : tragedie
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc60/
Phaëton. Tragedie mise en musique
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc62/
Thesée; tragedie mise en musique
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc71/
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