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  Partner: UNT Music Library
 Decade: 1760-1769
Tom Jones; comedie lyrique en trois actes

Tom Jones; comedie lyrique en trois actes

Date: 1766
Creator: Philidor, F. D. (François Danican), 1726-1795
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Buona figliuola : opera comica

Buona figliuola : opera comica

Date: 1767
Creator: Piccinni, Niccolò, 1728-1800
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Messiah

Messiah

Date: 1767
Creator: Handel, George Frideric, 1685-1759.
Description: This is the score of the first published edition of Handel's sacred oratorio, Messiah to the English text by the librettist Charles Jennens. It includes an engrave lithograph showing a portrait of Handel and musical instruments and mythological figures playing instruments. A list of subscribers before the content index includes the King, Queen [of England], His Royal Highness the Duke of York, His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester, His Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland. The content index includes incipit of recitatives and arias of each part. New pagination starts after the end of the oratorio at page 188 for added music.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
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
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
The Padlock

The Padlock

Date: [1768]
Creator: Bickerstaff, Isaac, 1735-1812.
Description: This is a copy of a ca. 1768 edition of Isaac Bickerstaff libretto for the two-act English comic opera "The Paddlock" by Charles Dibdin. The plot is an adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes's "El celoso extremeño" (translated as, The Jealous Estremaduran). The t.p. features a vignette signed by IJ Taylor [possibly by the London engraver Isaac Taylor (1730-1807)] with four infants. The one at the center is holding several keys and is playing horse riding with a walking stick that has a padlock attached to it. In the story, Don Diego, a rich old man, hopes to marry the young Leonora and locks her inside his house using a large padlock on the front door. After bribing the servants, the younger suitor, Leander, climbs over the garden wall to court Leonora. Don Diego returns unexpectedly and catches the lovers, but allows the young couple to wed acknowledging that he is too old for Leonora.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
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