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Matrimonio segreto : dramma giocoso in due atti = ou, Le mariage secret : opera comiLe mariage secret : opera comique en deux actesque en deux actes

Matrimonio segreto : dramma giocoso in due atti = ou, Le mariage secret : opera comiLe mariage secret : opera comique en deux actesque en deux actes

Date: 1799
Creator: Cimarosa, Domenico, 1749-1801 & Bertati, Giovanni, 1735-1815
Description: 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).
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Iphigenie en Aulide; tragédie. Opera en trois actes

Iphigenie en Aulide; tragédie. Opera en trois actes

Date: 1811
Creator: Gluck, Christoph Willibald, Ritter von, 1714-1787 & Du Roullet, François Louis Gaud Lebland, marquis, 1716-1786
Description: 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.
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Iphigenie en Aulide; tragédie. Opera en trois actes

Iphigenie en Aulide; tragédie. Opera en trois actes

Date: 1811
Creator: Gluck, Christoph Willibald, Ritter von, 1714-1787 & Du Roullet, François Louis Gaud Lebland, marquis, 1716-1786
Description: 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.
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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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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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Isis : tragedie

Isis : tragedie

Date: 1677
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687
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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Tom Jones; comedie lyrique en trois actes

Tom Jones; comedie lyrique en trois actes

Date: 1766
Creator: Philidor, F. D. (François Danican), 1726-1795; Poinsinet, Antoine Alexandre Henri, 1735-1769; Davesne, Bertin, 1714-1742 & Fielding, Henry, 1707-1754
Description: 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.
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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.
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Le triomphe de l'amour : ballet royal

Le triomphe de l'amour : ballet royal

Date: 1681
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687; Benserade, Isaac de, 1613-1691 & Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688
Description: 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.
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Le triomphe de l'amour

Le triomphe de l'amour

Date: 1681~
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687
Description: 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.
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Tancrède:  tragédie

Tancrède: tragédie

Date: 1702
Creator: Campra, André, 1660-1744; Danchet, Antoine, 1671-1748. & Tasso, Torquato, 1544-1595
Description: 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.
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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.
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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
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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.
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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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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.
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Le Huron : comedie en deux actes, et en vers

Le Huron : comedie en deux actes, et en vers

Date: 1768
Creator: Gretry, André Ernest Modeste, 1741-1813 & Marmontel, Jean François, 1723-1799
Description: 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.
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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
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Richard Cœur de Lion : opéra comique en trois actes

Richard Cœur de Lion : opéra comique en trois actes

Date: 1838
Creator: Grétry, André Ernest Modeste, 1741-1813
Description: None
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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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Serva padrona : intermezzo

Serva padrona : intermezzo

Date: [1804, 1805]
Creator: Pergolesi, Giovanni Battista, 1710-1736
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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Buona figliuola : opera comica

Buona figliuola : opera comica

Date: 1767
Creator: Piccinni, Niccolò, 1728-1800; Goldoni, Carlo, 1707-1793 & Richardson, Samuel, 1689-1761
Description: 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.
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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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Colonie : opéra comique en deux actes

Colonie : opéra comique en deux actes

Date: 1776
Creator: Sacchini, Antonio, 1730-1786 & Framery, Nicolas Etienne, 1745-1810
Description: None
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