Libretto of the opera seria "Arianna e Teseo" by Pietro Pariati. The story unfolds in the island of Crete where several young Athenian men are brought to be ritually sacrificed, and Athenian maidens are to be delivered as victims to a minotaur that lives in a labyrinth. Among the Athenians is Arianna, the daughter of Minos (Minosse), King of Crete, who was abducted as a child by King Aegeus, and Teseo, Aegeus's son. Teseo is determined to kill the minotaur in order to save Arianna's friend Laodice, but Arianna believes that he loves her friend. In spite of her doubts, she hands over to Teseo the secret how to kill the minotaur and vanquish Tauride, King Mino's champion, which she overheard from Minos. The work ends with Teseo's victory over the minotaur and his reconciliation with Arianna.
1763 English libretto for Thomas Arne's opera Artaxerxes. Thomas Arne most likely wrote his own libretto for Artaxerxes, which enjoyed a successful run at Covent Garden beginning on 2 February 1762. Artaxerxes follows the structure of Metastasio’s Italian libretto on the same subject; no other English-language opera has been recognized as following the principles of Metastasian opera seria.
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.
This is a 1766 copy of the libretto of the one-act comic opera "Le cadi dupé" (The duped judge), by Pierre René Lemonnier to music by Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny. The first performance of the opera took place at the Paris Foire St-Germain on 4 February 1761. Christoph Willibald Gluck's music replaced that of Monsigny's for the 8 December 1761 performance at the Burgtheater in Vienna.
This is a ca. 1763 copy of the libretto of "Catone in Utica," by Metastasio. Gian Francesco de Majo set this libretto to music for the 1763 carnival season in Turin. In this story, Caesar and Fulvio meet Cato, Utica's ruler, and offer him a peace truce, but Emilia, Pompey's widow, suspects treachery and plots to murder Caesar. Cato rejects a Senate's order for a reconciliation with Caesar and demands that Caesar surrender his dictatorial powers. Marzia, Cato's daughter, promised in marriage to Arbace, is in love with Caesar and pleas to her father to deter him from waging war. Arbace, who feels that his love for Marcia was betrayed, is lured by Emilia into an assassination attempt on Caesar. Fulvio is led to believe that Emilia will attempt on Caesar's life as he leaves by the gate of the city and advises him to take a secret path only to discover that Emilia used him to deliver Caesar into the hands of her followers. As Fulvio announces the victory of Caesar's armies in Utica, Cato stabs himself and before dying grants forgiveness to Marcia on condition that she swear loyalty to Arbaces and hatred towards Caesar. The library's copy of "Catone in Utica" is bound with the following librettos: "Ifigenia in Aulide", by Vittorio Amedeo Cigna-Santi; "Sofonisba" by Mattia Verazi; "Arianne e Teseo" by Pietro Pariati; and "Le piacevoli poesie" by Gasparo Gozzi.
This three-act opera is dedicated to His Most Serene Highness Monseigneur Duke of Orleans and premiered on 6 March 1769 at les Comediens italiens ordinaires du roi. This full score opens with a letter of dedication from the composer to his patron.
Duni’s French style was shaped by the developments of the War of the Buffoons, which pitted French tragic opera against Italian comic opera. The newly emergent opéra comique genre, for which Duni is still considered to be one of the major contributors, combined elements of both styles. His significance in the development of opéra comique is evident in the long-term success of Les deux chasseurs et la laitière, which was performed at the Comédie-Italien until 1792, almost twenty years after the composer’s death.
Undated score of Egidio Duni's opera Les deux chaussures et la laitière. Duni’s French style was shaped by the developments of the War of the Buffoons, which pitted French tragic opera against Italian comic opera. The newly emergent opéra comique genre, for which Duni is still considered to be one of the major contributors, combined elements of both styles. His significance in the development of opéra comique is evident in the long-term success of Les deux chasseurs et la laitière, which was performed at the Comédie-Italien until 1792, almost twenty years after the composer’s death.
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.
This is a ca. 1762 copy of the libretto of "Ifigenia in Aulide," by Vittorio Amedeo Cigna-Santi, the principal librettist at the Teatro Regio in Turin. Cigna-Santi's libretto is an adaptation of Euripide's story of Ifigenia, the daughter of the king of Argos, Agamemnon. The goddess Diana decreed that Ifigenia had to be sacrificed in order to guarantee fair winds for the king's fleet on their journey to Troy. Achilles, rushed to save Ifigenia, his wedding bride, but Diana, moved by Ifigenia's obedience, spared her life before the priest killed her. Ferdinando Giuseppe Bertoni set this libretto to music for the 1762 carnival season in Turin. According to scholar George Hollis, the surviving arias of Ifigenia in Aulide are technically demanding and contain florid and lengthy passages in the tradition of opera seria. The library's copy of "Ifigenia in Aulide"is bound with the following librettos: "Catone in Utica," by Pietro Metastasio; "Sofonisba" by Mattia Verazi; "Arianne e Teseo" by Pietro Pariati; and "Le piacevoli poesie" by Gasparo Gozzi.
Vocal score for Love in a Village is broken into four labeled sections ('books'), each of which has a separate title page, and includes the music from the comic opera which has figured bass. Some of the music includes underlaid lyrics and the names of the persons who performed the pieces. Table of contents for the entire work is on page .
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.
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.
This is a ca. 1764 copy of the libretto of the opera seria "Sofonisba" by Mattia Verazi. Baldassare Galuppi set this libretto to music for the 1764 carnival season in Turin. Mattia Verazi became a court poet at Mannheim and Stuttgart in 1756. Duke Carl Eugen favored operas with French influence, and Verazi catered to his tastes by providing libretti that deviated from Metastasian opera conventions. In 1762, Verazi and Tommaso Traeta collaborated to create operas following French models. Sofonisba was the result of such collaboration. Sofonisba and Siface, king of Numidia, are married and have a child. When Siface fails to return from battle against the Romans, Massinissa, Sofonisba’s former suitor, renews his advances. Siface appears among the captives and rejoins his wife but fail in their attempt to escape from their Roman captors. Afraid that she will be marched in chains through the streets of Rome, Sofonisba poisons herself and is dying when the news arrives that all has been resolved. Baldassare Galuppi composed the music of the opera for the 1764 Turin carnival season. The opening scene includes a programmatic sinfonia that accompanies a pantomimed battle, and later, another pantomime that depicts gladiatorial games. Verazi included detailed instructions for staged actions. Verazi's dramatic ending to the opera included Sofoniba's dramatic suicide. The library's copy of "Sofonisba" is bound with the following librettos: "Ifigenia in Aulide" by Vittorio Amedeo Cigna-Santi; "Catone in Utica" by Pietro Metastasio; "Arianne e Teseo" by Pietro Pariati; and "Le piacevoli poesie" by Gasparo Gozzi.
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.
Libretto of the comic opera "Le tonnelier" (The cooper) by Nicolas-Médard Audinot in collaboration with Antoine-François Quétant. The music of this one-act opera is a pasticcio of works by Gossec and other contemporaneous composers. Typical of the genre, the opera contains a variety of musical forms (airs, romance, vaudeville, and recitatives) and the dialogues are interspersed with additional airs, possibly using popular tunes. This copy includes (on pp. 52 and 54-56) notated melodies of airs.
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