Ernelinde, princesse de Norvège

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Ernelinde, princesse de Norvège (Ernelinde, Princess of Norway) is a three-act operatic tragédie lyrique, by the French composer François-André Danican Philidor. The libretto was by Antoine-Alexandre-Henri Poinsinet, after Francesco Silvani's  (it ) opera libretto La fede tradita, e vendicata.

Opera artform combining sung text and musical score in a theatrical setting

Opera is a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers, but is distinct from musical theater. Such a "work" is typically a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery, costume, and sometimes dance or ballet. The performance is typically given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble, which since the early 19th century has been led by a conductor.

François-André Danican Philidor French composer and chess player

François-André Danican Philidor, often referred to as André Danican Philidor during his lifetime, was a French composer and chess player. He contributed to the early development of the opéra comique. He is also regarded as the best chess player of his age; his book Analyse du jeu des Échecs was considered a standard chess manual for at least a century. A well-known chess opening and a checkmate method are both named after him.

Antoine-Alexandre-Henri Poinsinet, nicknamed "le jeune", was an 18th-century French playwright and librettist.


Performance history

The work was first performed on 24 November 1767 by the Paris Opera at the Salle des Machines in the Palais des Tuileries in Paris. [1] The first version was given about eighteen times, with the final performance on 10 January 1768. Revised as Sandomir, prince de Dannemarck, it was given in the same theatre on 24 January 1769. This version was also performed in Brussels in 1772. The libretto was further revised in five acts by Michel-Jean Sedaine, this time as Ernelinde with fully orchestrated recitatives by Philidor, and given at the Théâtre Gabriel at the Palace of Versailles on 11 December 1773 and in Brussels in 1774. Philidor and Sedaine revised the five-act version for another set of performances given by the Paris Opera at the second Salle du Palais-Royal beginning on 8 July 1777. It was last revived in June 1778.

Paris Opera the primary opera company of France

The Paris Opera is the primary opera and ballet company of France. It was founded in 1669 by Louis XIV as the Académie d'Opéra, and shortly thereafter was placed under the leadership of Jean-Baptiste Lully and officially renamed the Académie Royale de Musique, but continued to be known more simply as the Opéra. Classical ballet as it is known today arose within the Paris Opera as the Paris Opera Ballet and has remained an integral and important part of the company. Currently called the Opéra National de Paris, it mainly produces operas at its modern 2700-seat theatre Opéra Bastille which opened in 1989, and ballets and some classical operas at the older 1970-seat Palais Garnier which opened in 1875. Small scale and contemporary works are also staged in the 500-seat Amphitheatre under the Opéra Bastille.

Michel-Jean Sedaine French writer

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.

Palace of Versailles French palace on the outskirts of Paris

The Palace of Versailles was the principal royal residence of France from 1682, under Louis XIV, until the start of the French Revolution in 1789, under Louis XVI. It is located in the department of Yvelines, in the region of Île-de-France, about 20 kilometres southwest of the centre of Paris.

The 1777 performances, with their exotic Viking setting, excited enough interest to provoke parodies. One by Jean-Étienne Despréaux, entitled Berlingue, was performed at the Théâtre Royal de la Cour at the Château de Choisy on 13 September, another anonymous work called Sans dormir was given by the Comédie Italienne at the Hôtel de Bourgogne on 12 October. [1]

Jean-Étienne Despréaux French singer and dancer

Jean-Étienne Despréaux was a French ballet dancer, choreographer, composer, singer and playwright.

Château de Choisy castle

The Château de Choisy was a royal French residence in the commune of Choisy-le-Roi in the Val-de-Marne department, not far from Paris. The commune was given its present name by Louis XV, when he purchased the manor of Choisy and its château in October 1739.

Opéra-Comique opera company in Paris

The Opéra-Comique is a Parisian 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.


Role Voice type Premiere cast, 24 November 17671st revision, 24 January 17692nd revision, 11 December 17733rd revision, 8 July 1777
Ricimer, King of the Goths baritone Henri Larrivée
Sandomir, Prince of Denmark tenor Joseph Legros
Ernelinde, Princess of Norway soprano Marie Jeanne Larrivée Rosalie Levasseur
Rodoald, King of Norway bass Nicolas Gélin


A Viking-era saga about the struggle for control of Norway, Sweden and Denmark – and for the hand of the Norwegian princess Ernelinde.

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  1. 1 2 Casaglia, Gherardo (2005).["Ernelinde"]. L'Almanacco di Gherardo Casaglia (in Italian).


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