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Titon Et L'Aurore

Description: This three-act opera (Monsigny's Op. 8) is dedicated to Monseigneur le Prince de Soubise and was premiered at L'Academie Royalle de Musique on 9 January 1753. This full score opens with a letter of dedication from the composer to his patron and closes with a document describing royal publishing privilege.
Date: 1753
Creator: Mondonville, Jean Joseph Cassanea de, 1711-1772
Partner: UNT Music Library

Alceste

Description: This is a ca. 1774 score of the opera "Alceste" by Anton Schweitzer based on a libretto by Christoph Wieland. The work premiered in Weimar in 1773. The plot was based on the Greek legend of Alcestis, on the subject of female virtue and conjugal love. The library's copy contains an engraved illustration that portrays a domestic scene. The score does not indicate the musical instruments and the music, which is notated in two, three or four staves, contains the German text underlaid with indication of the character who sings.
Date: 1774
Creator: Schweitzer, Anton, 1735-1787.
Partner: UNT Music Library

Romeo et Juliette, opera en trois actes, en prose

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.
Date: 1793
Creator: Steibelt, Daniel, 1765-1823.
Partner: UNT Music Library

Zéphire et Flore; opéra en musique

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.
Date: 1688
Creator: Lully, Louis de, 1664-1734 & Duboullay, Michel
Partner: UNT Music Library

Mélomanie : opera comique en un acte en vers mêlé d'ariettes mis en musique

Description: During his early career, Champein was known for church music composed while he worked as music master at the collegiate church in Pignon (in the southern Provence region of France). He moved to Paris and established himself as an operatic composer; La mélomanie (1781) is one of his most famous operas, and it remained in the repertoire at the Opéra-Comique until 1829. La mélomanie actually mocks the debate between French and Italian styles of music, with Fugantini as an Italian who is rejected by the French Elise. References to harmony (a French feature) and melody (emphasized by advocates of Italian music) abound in the opera.
Date: 1781
Creator: Champein, Stanislas, 1753-1830 & Grenier
Partner: UNT Music Library

Proserpine; tragedie

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.
Date: 1680
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687 & Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688
Partner: UNT Music Library

Roland; tragédie mise en musique

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.
Date: 1685
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687 & Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688
Partner: UNT Music Library

Achille et Polixene, tragédie dont le prologue & les quatre derniers actes

Description: Achille et Polixene, Jean-Baptiste Lully's last opera, premiered on 7 November 1687, eight months after Lully's death on March 22 of that year. Since the composer had only finished the overture and first act, the score was completed by Pascal Colasse, Lully's secretary and student, to a text by Jean Galbert de Campistron based on events in Virgil's Aeneid.
Date: 1687
Creator: Collasse, Pascal, 1649-1709; Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687 & Campistron, Jean Galbert de, 1656-1723
Partner: UNT Music Library

Armide : tragedie mise en musique

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.
Date: 1686
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687 & Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688
Partner: UNT Music Library

Matrimonio segreto : dramma giocoso in due atti = ou, Le mariage secret : opera comiLe mariage secret : opera comique en deux actesque en deux actes

Description: Domenico Cimarosa’s Il matrimonio segreto premiered at the Burgtheater in Vienna on 7 February 1792, just two months after Mozart’s death. It received immediate accolades, particularly from Emperor Leopold II, and the opera was performed a second time that day for a private audience that included the Holy Roman ruler. Il matrimonio segreto enjoyed a successful run that lasted almost a hundred years, with revised versions appearing in the second half of the nineteenth century; in 1933, the work was performed at the Library of Congress. Although the harmonic language is largely diatonic, Cimarosa’s beautiful melodies and exciting rhythms complement Bertati’s direct text. The opera presents the predicament of the secretly married couple without resorting to stock plot conventions such as characters in disguise, conveying the dramatic naturalness and simplicity promoted by Rousseau. The inventive orchestration, which includes clarinets, was another aspect of the opera that was praised by some (while Schumann appreciated the orchestration, Berlioz was unimpressed).
Date: 1799
Creator: Cimarosa, Domenico, 1749-1801 & Bertati, Giovanni, 1735-1815
Partner: UNT Music Library

Roland. Tragédie mis en musique

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). This is the second edition. 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.
Date: 1709
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687 & Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688
Partner: UNT Music Library

Thesée; tragedie, mise en musique

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.
Date: 1688
Creator: Lully, Jean Baptiste, 1632-1687 & Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688
Partner: UNT Music Library

Idomeneo : dramma eroico in tre atti, volume 2

Description: This score is special edition of Mozart's opera "Idomeneo" issued by subscription by J. Frey in ca. 1822. The cursive signature J. Frey appears in ink at the bottom of the t.p. This edition is in two volumes. Volume 1 lists the names of subscribers and has a table of contents for each of the three acts with the incipit of first lines of texts of arias, recitatives and choruses. Volume 1 also contains the overture of the opera and the first act. Volume 2 contains the second and third acts. According to New Grove, in 1780 Mozart received a commission to composed a serious opera on a libretto by the Salzburg cleric Giambattista Varesco, which the latter based on Antoine Danchet's Idoménée.
Date: 1821
Creator: Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, 1756-1791.
Partner: UNT Music Library

Les deux comtesses : opera bouffon imité de l'Italien et parodié sous la musique

Description: Paisiello’s comic operas were some of the most successful of the time. In point of fact, his operas enjoyed 251 performances in Vienna between 1783 and 1792, compared to 63 performances of Mozart’s operas. The intermezzo Le due comtesse, which first appeared in Rome (with an all-male cast) on 3 January 1776, was translated to French and parodied by Nicolas Etienne Framery, who also adapted Paisiello’s Il barbiere di Siviglia for the Parisian stage.
Date: 178u
Creator: Paisiello, Giovanni, 1740-1816 & Framery, Nicolas Etienne, 1745-1810
Partner: UNT Music Library

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
Partner: UNT Music Library

Les Danaïdes, tragédie lirique en cinq actes

Description: Antonio Salieri began work on Les Danaïdes upon the recommendation of Gluck, whose health prevented him from fulfilling a commission for the work. Although Salieri was living in Vienna, the tragedie-lyrique was written for the Opéra in Paris, with a libretto by François Louis Gand Leblanc Roullet and Ludwig Theodor Tschudi based on Calzabigi’s Italian libretto.
Date: 1784
Creator: Salieri, Antonio, 1750-1825; Du Roullet, François Louis Gaud Lebland, marquis, 1716-1786 & Tschudi, Jean-Baptiste-Louis-Théodore, baron de, 1734-1784
Partner: UNT Music Library

Iphigénie en Tauride. Tragédie lirique en quatre actes

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.
Date: 1781
Creator: Piccinni, Niccolò, 1728-1800 & Dubreil, Alphonse Ducongé, 1734-1801
Partner: UNT Music Library

Dardanus : tragédie lyrique en quatre actes

Description: Like Renaud, Sacchini’s second French opera, Dardanus, faced problems due in large part to the composer’s Italian heritage. The opera is based on Rameau’s Dardanus, which had been a topic of earlier dispute between the Lullistes and the Ramistes. After an initially disappointing reception, Dardanus was reduced from four acts to three. In its first form, the opera received only six performances, but the three-act version was performed more than thirty times during the eighteenth century. Dardanus went on to enjoy several productions in the first decade of the nineteenth century.
Date: 1784
Creator: Sacchini, Antonio, 1730-1786; Guillard, Nicolas François, 1752-1814 & La Bruère, Le Clerc de, 1714-1754
Partner: UNT Music Library

Le devin du village

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

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
Partner: UNT Music Library

Didon; tragédie lyrique en trois actes

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.
Date: 1815
Creator: Piccinni, Niccolò, 1728-1800 & Marmontel, Jean François, 1723-1799
Partner: UNT Music Library

Bellérophon; tragedie mise en musique

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.
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
Partner: UNT Music Library

Atys : tragédie lyrique en trois actes

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.
Date: 1781
Creator: Piccinni, Niccolò, 1728-1800; Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688 & Marmontel, Jean François, 1723-1799
Partner: UNT Music Library