Didon; tragédie lyrique en trois actes

Didon; tragédie lyrique en trois actes

Date: 1815
Creator: Piccinni, Niccolò, 1728-1800
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Colonie : opéra comique en deux actes

Colonie : opéra comique en deux actes

Date: 1776
Creator: Sacchini, Antonio, 1730-1786
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
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
Proserpine : tragedie mise en musique

Proserpine : tragedie mise en musique

Date: 1707
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687
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
Iphigénie en Tauride. Tragédie lirique en quatre actes

Iphigénie en Tauride. Tragédie lirique en quatre actes

Date: 1781
Creator: Piccinni, Niccolò, 1728-1800
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Proserpine; tragedie

Proserpine; tragedie

Date: 1680
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687
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
Renaud : tragedie lyrique en trois actes

Renaud : tragedie lyrique en trois actes

Date: 1783
Creator: Sacchini, Antonio, 1730-1786
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Romeo et Juliette, opera en trois actes, en prose

Romeo et Juliette, opera en trois actes, en prose

Date: 1793
Creator: Steibelt, Daniel, 1765-1823.
Description: This is the score of Daniel Steibelt's first opera "Roméo et Juliette" composed in 1793 to a libretto by Vicomte Alexandre de Ségur. According to Grove Music, Steibelt submitted this opera to the Académie Royale de Musique, but it was rejected. The work was performed as opéra comique at the Théâtre Feydeau on 9 October 1793, after Steibelt replaced the original recitatives with spoken dialog. The opera is in three acts and the orchestral forces comprise: woodwinds (flutes (2), oboes (2), clarinets (2), and bassoon (2)), brass instruments (horns in E-flat (2), trumpets in C (2), and trombones (3)), timpani in C, and strings (violins, viola, violoncello, and bass). On the t.p., the publisher advertised Steibelt's arrangement for the piano of arias and overture of this opera.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Thesée; tragedie, mise en musique

Thesée; tragedie, mise en musique

Date: 1688
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687
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
Le devin du village

Le devin du village

Date: 1785
Creator: Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, 1712-1778
Description: 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).
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
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