Roland; tragédie mise en musique

Roland; tragédie mise en musique

Date: 1685
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687 & Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688
Description: Roland is one of three operas by composer Jean-Baptiste Lully and librettist Philippe Quinault based on the medieval legends of chivalry (the other two are Amadis and Armide). Roland sets episodes from Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando furioso. And, like its sibling Armide, Roland centers on the conflict between duty and love. Acts I-III portray this conflict within Angélique, Queen of Cathay, while the remaining acts concern Roland's unrequited love for Angélique, which is resolved only when the goddesses Glory and Fame show him that this too is a struggle between duty and love.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Thesée; tragedie, mise en musique

Thesée; tragedie, mise en musique

Date: 1688
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
Proserpine; tragedie

Proserpine; tragedie

Date: 1680
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687 & Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688
Description: With Proserpine, composer Jean-Baptiste Lully returned to his collaboration with librettist Philippe Quinault, which had been interrupted when the poet was banned from Court for offending Madame de Montespan (the king's mistress) with unflattering references in Isis. By 1679, Quinault had been restored to favor. Proserpine was first performed at St. Germain-en-Laye in February of 1680. Though seventeenth-century audiences were familiar with the story of Proserpine being carried off into Hades from numerous ballets and stage plays, Quinault returned to the source in Ovid's Metamorphoses to embellish the plot. In addition to details drawn from Ovid, Quinault added some of his own, making Proserpine among the most convoluted of Lully's operas. While the prologue alludes to King Louis XIV in the guise of Jupiter, the play itself refers specifically to the king's recent victories over the Spanish and Dutch when Jupiter battles and defeats the giants. Robert Isherwood notes that Jupiter's trip to Phrygia may represent Louis' inspection of Flanders after its defeat in 1679.
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
Bellérophon; tragedie mise en musique

Bellérophon; tragedie mise en musique

Date: 1679
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687; Corneille, Pierre, 1606-1684; Fontenelle, M. de (Bernard Le Bovier), 1657-1757 & Boileau Despréaux, Nicolas, 1636-1711
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Ballet du Temple de la paix

Ballet du Temple de la paix

Date: 1685
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687 & Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688
Description: The elements that make up the Jean-Baptiste Lully's Ballet du Temple de la Paix have some parallels to the plot of Roland, which premiered in the same year. Both celebrate the expanding influence of France and Louis XIV through the introduction of exotic characters. The flexibility of the ballet de cour format, which was more a progression of loosely related scenes and spectacles than an organized plot, allowed librettist Philippe Quinault more freedom in his elaboration of that theme.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Zéphire et Flore; opéra en musique

Zéphire et Flore; opéra en musique

Date: 1688
Creator: Lully, Louis de, 1664-1734 & Duboullay, Michel
Description: Zephire et Flore, the only opera attributed to Louis and Jean-Louis Lully, sons of Jean-Baptiste Lully, sets a libretto by Michel Du Boullay based on episodes from Greek mythology. It was performed for the first time 22 March 1688 at the Palais Royale in Paris. There is no record of a court performance, and it was revived only once, in June of 1715, with revisions by Destouches. We know of no modern performances, nor recordings of the opera in whole or in part.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Armide : tragedie mise en musique

Armide : tragedie mise en musique

Date: 1686
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687 & Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
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."
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
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