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Le tonnelier

Description: 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.
Date: 1765
Creator: Audinot, Nicolas Médard, 1732-1801. & Quétant, Antoine-François, 1733-1823.
Item Type: Text

Le cadi dupé

Description: 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.
Date: 1766
Creator: Lemonnier, Pierre René, 1731-1796.
Item Type: Book

Tom Jones; comedie lyrique en trois actes

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.
Date: 1766
Creator: Philidor, F. D. (François Danican), 1726-1795; Poinsinet, Antoine Alexandre Henri, 1735-1769; Davesne, Bertin, 1714-1742 & Fielding, Henry, 1707-1754

Buona figliuola : opera comica

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.
Date: 1767
Creator: Piccinni, Niccolò, 1728-1800; Goldoni, Carlo, 1707-1793 & Richardson, Samuel, 1689-1761

Messiah

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.
Date: 1767
Creator: Handel, George Frideric, 1685-1759.

Le Huron : comedie en deux actes, et en vers

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.
Date: 1768
Creator: Gretry, André Ernest Modeste, 1741-1813 & Marmontel, Jean François, 1723-1799

The Padlock

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.
Date: 1768
Creator: Bickerstaff, Isaac, 1735-1812.
Item Type: Book

Le déserteur; drame en trois actes representé par les Comediens italiens ordinaires du roi le 6 mars 1769, Gravé par Mlle, Vendôme et le Sr. Moria

Description: 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.
Date: 1769
Creator: Monsigny, Pierre-Alexandre, 1729-1817