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Richard Cœur de Lion : opéra comique en trois actes

Description: Richard Cœur-de-lion is probably Grétry’s most famous opéra-comique. However, it was banned during the French Revolution and subsequent rebellions in 1830 and 1848 due to its favorable depiction of royalty. Other than those exceptions, the work has remained popular due to its well-developed and compelling plot, its idealized representation of the Medieval community, as well as its musicodramatic structure in which a recurring romance melody is treated as a unifying plot point.
Date: 1838
Creator: Grétry, André Ernest Modeste, 1741-1813
Partner: UNT Music Library

Silvain

Description: This one-act opera to a libretto by Marmontel is dedicated "a son Altesse Royale Monseigneur Le Prince Charles de Pologne." This full score features a catalogue of Grétry's music on the verso of the title page. The opera was premiered in Paris on 19 February 1770 at the Comédie-Italiènne.
Date: 1770~
Creator: Grétry, André-Ernest-Modeste, 1741-1813
Partner: UNT Music Library

Barbe bleue : comédie en prose et en trois actes

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.
Date: 1789
Creator: Grétry, André Ernest Modeste, 1741-1813 & Sedaine, 1719-1797
Partner: UNT Music Library

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

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.
Date: 1782
Creator: Grétry, André Ernest Modeste, 1741-1813 & Lourdet de Santerre, Jean Baptiste, 1732-1815
Partner: UNT Music Library

Panurge dans l'Isle des Lanternes : comédie lirique en trois actes

Description: Panurge, like Colinette à la cour, features recitative, rather than spoken dialogue. In his memoirs, Grétry recognized Panurge for being the first comic opera to enjoy a successful run at the Opéra, and he saw it as a turning point for this theater, which traditionally presented serious plots (Grétry, Memoires; ou, Essais sur la musique, 377). The overture to Panurge was featured on concerts in the nineteenth century, and although the opera eventually disappeared from the repertoire, its long stint was noted as late as 1866, by which time it was no longer being performed (Crozet, Revue de la musique dramatique en France, 275-76).
Date: 1785
Creator: Grétry, André Ernest Modeste, 1741-1813 & Morel de Chédeville, Etienne, 1747-1814
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

Épreuve villageoise : opéra bouffon en deux actes en vers

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.
Date: 1784
Creator: Grétry, André Ernest Modeste, 1741-1813 & Desforges, M. (Pierre-Jean-Baptiste), 1746-1806
Partner: UNT Music Library