Aline, reine de Golconde (‘Aline, Queen of Golconda’) is an opera (ballet-héroïque) in three acts by Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny to a libretto by Michel-Jean Sedaine based on a story by Stanislas-Jean de Boufflers. It was first performed in the Salle des Machines in Paris on 15 April 1766.
The action takes place in India, where queen Aline recognises the newly-arrived ambassador Saint Phar as her long lost lover from a time when she was a mere peasant girl. She disguises herself as a shepherdess and meets Saint Phar before leaving him again to test his love. Resuming her role as queen, she offers herself in marriage to Saint Phar, who declines because he loves the shepherdess. The true identity of the shepherdess is then revealed, and the lovers reunited.
Although Monsigny had previously written light operas, Aline was his first and only grand opera.The Journal historique gave the work a damning review, saying that Sédaine’s libretto lacked the gaiety of the original work and turned it into a dreary and trivial pastoral, while Montigny’s music destroyed the prosody of the verse and merely enhanced its dullness.
Nevertheless the work was popular and a revised version was staged in Paris in 1779. L'esprit des journaux, francais et etrangers commented that the first version had been updated in the light of changes to public taste and the styles made popular by Christoph Willibald Gluck. The music was full of pleasant tunes, but the recitatives, now all accompanied rather than “secco” as before, were too heavy for a pastoral and the public felt that the dances were too long.
Monsigny’s later work Le déserteur (1769) was enormously popular and rapidly eclipsed Aline, which did not remain in the repertoire of the Opéra-Comique.
The opera was translated and performed in many European cities: Brussels (1774); Liège (1783); Berlin (German translation by FLW Meyer (de) 1782); London (Italian translation by A. Andrei, 1784); and Moscow (Russian translation, 1793). A parody appeared in 1768 under the title Nanine, Sœur de lait de la reine de Golconde.
In 1787, Johann Abraham Peter Schulz composed new music to a translated version of the French libretto.In 1803 a different work with the same name premiered at the Opéra-Comique in Paris, with a libretto by Jean-Baptiste-Charles Vial and Etienne Guillaume François de Favières and music by Henri-Montan Berton. Gaetano Donizetti wrote his opera Alina, regina di Golconda on the same theme, using an Italian translation of the same libretto.
Jean-François Marmontel was a French historian and writer, a member of the Encyclopédistes movement.
The Opéra-Comique is a Paris opera company, which was founded around 1714 by some of the popular theatres of the Parisian fairs. In 1762 the company was merged with, and for a time took the name of its chief rival the Comédie-Italienne at the Hôtel de Bourgogne, and was also called the Théâtre-Italien up to about 1793, when it again became most commonly known as the Opéra-Comique. Today the company's official name is Théâtre national de l'Opéra-Comique, and its theatre, with a capacity of around 1,248 seats, sometimes referred to as the Salle Favart, is located in Place Boïeldieu, in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris, not far from the Palais Garnier, one of the theatres of the Paris Opéra. The musicians and others associated with the Opéra-Comique have made important contributions to operatic history and tradition in France, and to French opera. Its current mission is to reconnect with its history, and discover its unique repertoire, to ensure production and dissemination of operas for the wider public. Mainstays of the repertory at the Opéra-Comique during its history have included the following works which have each been performed more than 1,000 times by the company: Cavalleria Rusticana, Le chalet, La dame blanche, Le domino noir, La fille du régiment, Lakmé, Manon, Mignon, Les noces de Jeannette, Le pré aux clercs, Tosca, La bohème, Werther and Carmen, the last having been performed more than 2,500 times.
Michel-Jean Sedaine was a French dramatist and librettist, especially noted for his librettos for opéras comiques, in which he took an important and influential role in the advancement of the genre from the period of Charles-Simon Favart to the beginning of the Revolution.
Opéra comique is a genre of French opera that contains spoken dialogue and arias. It emerged from the popular opéras comiques en vaudevilles of the Fair Theatres of St Germain and St Laurent, which combined existing popular tunes with spoken sections. Associated with the Paris theatre of the same name, opéra comique is not always comic or light in nature; Carmen, perhaps the most famous opéra comique, is a tragedy.
François-Adrien Boieldieu was a French composer, mainly of operas, often called "the French Mozart".
Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges, French playwright, was born and died in Paris. He was one of the most prolific librettists of the 19th century, often working in collaboration with others.
Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny was a French composer and a member of the French Académie des Beaux-Arts (1813).
Alina, regina di Golconda is an opera in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. The Italian libretto was written by Felice Romani after Michel-Jean Sedaine's French libretto for Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny's ballet-heroique Aline, reine de Golconde, in its turn based on the novel by Stanislas de Boufflers.
Le déserteur is an opéra comique by the French composer Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny with a libretto by Michel-Jean Sedaine. It was first performed on 6 March 1769 by the Comédie-Italienne at their public theatre, the Hôtel de Bourgogne in Paris.
Guillaume Tell is an opéra comique, described as a drame mise en musique, in three acts by André Grétry, The French text was by Michel-Jean Sedaine based on a play of the same name by Antoine-Marin Lemierre.
Henri-Montan Berton was a French composer, teacher, and writer, mostly known as a composer of operas for the Opéra-Comique.
Jean Elleviou was a French operatic tenor, one of the most celebrated French singers of his time.
Drottningen av Golconda is a three-act romantic opera by Franz Berwald. The libretto was adapted by the composer from one by Vial and Favières intended for Henri Montan Berton; this had been based on another by Michel-Jean Sedaine. Berwald may have known the Berton opera from when he played in the opera orchestra in Stockholm.
Jean-Pierre Solié was a French cellist and operatic singer. He began as a tenor, but switched and became well known as a baritone. He sang most often at the Paris Opéra-Comique. He also became a prolific composer, writing primarily one-act comic operas.
Blaise le savetier is a 1759 one-act opéra comique, by the French composer François-André Danican Philidor. The libretto was by Michel-Jean Sedaine, after a story by Jean de La Fontaine entitled Conte d'une chose arrivée à Château-Thierry.
Le faucon is an opéra comique in three acts by the Ukrainian composer Dmitry Bortniansky with a French language libretto by Franz-Hermann Lafermièred. It was first performed on 11 October 1786 at the Gatchina Palace in Russia by aristocratic amateur singers. The plot is borrowed from Boccaccio's The Decameron which also served as the basis for Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny's 1771 comic opera Le faucon.
Henri Larrivée was a French opera singer. He was born in Lyon. His voice range was basse-taille. According to Fétis, Larrivée was working as an apprentice to a wigmaker when the head of the Paris Opéra, Rebel, noticed his talent for singing and hired him as a chorus member. He made his first solo appearance as a high priest in a 1755 revival of Rameau's Castor et Pollux. He was particularly associated with the works of Christoph Willibald Gluck, helping Gluck establish his "reform operas" in France. He found Gluck's rival, Niccolò Piccinni, less congenial but still worked with him on the premieres of operas including Roland (1778). After already getting a pension in 1779, he retired from the Académie Royale de Musique in 1786 and devoted most of the time he had left to live to tour around with his two daughters who played harp and violin.
Charles-Frédéric Kreubé was a 19th-century French violinist, conductor and composer.
Charles-Guillaume Alexandre was a French classical violinist and composer.
Le roi et le fermier is a 1762 opéra-comique ei 3 acts by Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny to a libretto by Michel-Jean Sedaine.