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
Thetis et Pelée; tragédie en musique

Thetis et Pelée; tragédie en musique

Date: 1716
Creator: Collasse, Pascal, 1649-1709 & Fontenelle, M. de (Bernard Le Bovier), 1657-1757
Description: Pascal Collasse was one of the few opera composers able to secure successful performances in the years following Lully’s death. Collasse then went on to supply the music for the entire opera, Thétis et Pélée, which was premiered at the Paris Opéra on 11 January 1689. Thétis remained popular throughout Collasse’s lifetime, in spite of its rather weak plot. Owing to its success is primarily the music, including a significant storm scene in Act II. This departure from the Lullian tradition is perhaps Collasse’s most significant contribution to the tradition of French opera.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Atys : tragédie lyrique en trois actes

Atys : tragédie lyrique en trois actes

Date: 1781
Creator: Piccinni, Niccolò, 1728-1800; Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688 & Marmontel, Jean François, 1723-1799
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
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
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Barbe bleue : comédie en prose et en trois actes

Barbe bleue : comédie en prose et en trois actes

Date: 1789
Creator: Grétry, André Ernest Modeste, 1741-1813 & Sedaine, 1719-1797
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Echo et Narcisse, drame lyrique en trois actes

Echo et Narcisse, drame lyrique en trois actes

Date: 1779
Creator: Gluck, Christoph Willibald, Ritter von, 1714-1787 & Tschudi, Jean-Baptiste-Louis-Théodore, baron de, 1734-1784
Description: After the resounding success of Iphigénie en Tauride (1779), Gluck set out to compose his last of the seven Paris operas, which turned out to be his final opera. Whereas Iphigénie en Tauride is often considered Gluck’s best opera, its immediate successor, Echo et Narcisse (1779) was ill-fated and quickly disappeared from the repertoire. Echo was premiered a mere four months after Tauride, and the Parisian audience was not prepared for the differences between these two operas. Although the music resembles that of his other French operas, the pastoral story lacks the dramatic intensity that viewers expected in a Gluck opera. Thus, the serene music—though it is at times quite beautiful— lacks dramatic impulse.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Colinette à la cour ou La double épreuve : comédie lyrique en trois actes

Colinette à la cour ou La double épreuve : comédie lyrique en trois actes

Date: 1782
Creator: Grétry, André Ernest Modeste, 1741-1813 & Lourdet de Santerre, Jean Baptiste, 1732-1815
Description: 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.
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
Matador

Matador

Date: May 1998
Creator: Patino, Julio
Description: Matador is an opera scored for orchestra, mixed chorus and soloists (mezzosoprano, 3 tenors, 2 baritones). The work is in one act divided into two main sections. Each of these sections is divided into subsections. The libretto is aphoristic in nature and dictates the form of each of these subsections. The division into two parts also serves as a means to evoke a sense of hopelessness of emotions in the first and a transforming disposition that culminates in a jubilant song in the second.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Armide:  Drame héroique, mis en musique

Armide: Drame héroique, mis en musique

Date: 1783
Creator: Gluck, Christoph Willibald, Ritter von, 1714-1787
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Don Juan, oder, Der Steinerne Gast : komische Oper in zwey Aufzügen, volume 2

Don Juan, oder, Der Steinerne Gast : komische Oper in zwey Aufzügen, volume 2

Date: 1801
Creator: Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, 1756-1791. & Da Ponte, Lorenzo, 1749-1838
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
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
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
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.
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
Armide:  drame héroïque

Armide: drame héroïque

Date: 1811
Creator: Gluck, Christoph Willibald, Ritter von, 1714-1787 & Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Issé

Issé

Date: 1697
Creator: Destouches, M. (André Cardinal), 1672-1749 & La Motte, M. de (Antoine Houdar), 1672-1731
Description: 1724 score of André Cardinal Destouches' opera Issé. Destouches’s Issé premiered in 1697, just nine years after the death of Jean-Baptiste Lully. The tradition of featuring new operas at the court prior to a public premiere—common during Lully’s later years—was reinstated with this work. When Destouches revived the opera in 1708, he enlarged the original three-act work to five acts. This allowed for expanded divertissements, choruses, and more elaborate arias, which appealed to contemporary public preferences. The volume in the Virtual Rare Book Room is the five-act version.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Armide

Armide

Date: 1686~
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687 & Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Don Juan, oder, Der Steinerne Gast : komische Oper in zwey Aufzügen, volume 1

Don Juan, oder, Der Steinerne Gast : komische Oper in zwey Aufzügen, volume 1

Date: 1801
Creator: Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, 1756-1791. & Da Ponte, Lorenzo, 1749-1838
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
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