Jean-François Marmontel (11 July 1723 – 31 December 1799) was a French historian and writer, a member of the Encyclopédistes movement.
The Encyclopédistes were members of the Société des gens de lettres, a French writers' society, who contributed to the development of the Encyclopédie from June 1751 to December 1765 under the editors Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d'Alembert. The composition of the 17 volumes of text and 11 volumes of plates of the Encyclopédie was the work of over 150 authors belonging, in large part, to the intellectual group known as the philosophes. They promoted the advancement of science and secular thought and supported tolerance, rationality, and open-mindedness of the Enlightenment.
This section needs additional citations for verification . (May 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
He was born of poor parents at Bort, Limousin (today in Corrèze). After studying with the Jesuits at Mauriac, Cantal, he taught in their colleges at Clermont-Ferrand and Toulouse; and in 1745, acting on the advice of Voltaire, he set out for Paris to try for literary success. From 1748 to 1753 he wrote a succession of tragedies (Denys le Tyran (1748); Aristomene (1749); Cleopâtre (1750); Heraclides (1752); Egyptus (1753)), which, though only moderately successful on the stage, secured Marmontel's introduction into literary and fashionable circles.
Bort-les-Orgues is a commune in the Corrèze department in central France.
Corrèze is a department in south-western France, named after the river Corrèze which runs though it. Its capital is Tulle, and its most populated town is Brive-la-Gaillarde.
The Society of Jesus is a scholarly religious congregation of the Catholic Church for men which originated in sixteenth-century Spain. The members are called Jesuits. The society is engaged in evangelization and apostolic ministry in 112 nations. Jesuits work in education, intellectual research, and cultural pursuits. Jesuits also give retreats, minister in hospitals and parishes, sponsor direct social ministries, and promote ecumenical dialogue.
He wrote a series of articles for the Encyclopédie evincing considerable critical power and insight, which in their collected form, under the title Eléments de Littérature, still rank among the French classics. He also wrote several comic operas, the two best of which probably are Sylvain (1770) and Zémire et Azore (1771). In the Gluck – Piccinni controversy he was an eager partisan of Piccinni with whom he collaborated in Roland (Piccinni) (1778) and Atys (1779), both using Jean Baptiste Lully's libretto by Quinault as basis, Didon (1783) and Penelope (1785).
Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, better known as Encyclopédie, was a general encyclopedia published in France between 1751 and 1772, with later supplements, revised editions, and translations. It had many writers, known as the Encyclopédistes. It was edited by Denis Diderot and, until 1759, co-edited by Jean le Rond d'Alembert.
Christoph WillibaldGluck was a composer of Italian and French opera in the early classical period. Born in the Upper Palatinate and raised in Bohemia, both part of the Holy Roman Empire, he gained prominence at the Habsburg court at Vienna. There he brought about the practical reform of opera's dramaturgical practices for which many intellectuals had been campaigning. With a series of radical new works in the 1760s, among them Orfeo ed Euridice and Alceste, he broke the stranglehold that Metastasian opera seria had enjoyed for much of the century. Gluck introduced more drama by using simpler recitative and cutting the usually long da capo aria. His later operas have half the length of a typical baroque opera.
Roland is a tragédie lyrique in three acts by the composer Niccolò Piccinni. The opera was a new setting of a libretto written by Philippe Quinault for Jean-Baptiste Lully in 1685, specially adapted for Piccinni by Jean-François Marmontel and based on Ludovico Ariosto's epic poem Orlando Furioso. The opera was first performed on 27 January 1778 by the Académie Royale de Musique at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal.
In 1758 he gained the patronage of Madame de Pompadour, who obtained for him a place as a civil servant, and the management of the official journal Le Mercure , in which he had already begun the famous series of Contes moraux. The merit of these tales lies partly in the delicate finish of the style, but mainly in the graphic and charming pictures of French society under King Louis XV. The author was elected to the Académie française in 1763. In 1767 he published Bélisaire, now remarkable in part because of a chapter on religious toleration which incurred the censure of the Sorbonne and the archbishop of Paris. Marmontel retorted in Les Incas (1777) by tracing the cruelties in Spanish America to the religious fanaticism of the invaders.
Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour, commonly known as Madame de Pompadour, was a member of the French court and was the official chief mistress of Louis XV from 1745 to 1751, and remained influential as court favourite until her death.
The Mercure de France was originally a French gazette and literary magazine first published in the 17th century, but after several incarnations has evolved as a publisher, and is now part of the Éditions Gallimard publishing group.
Louis XV, known as Louis the Beloved, was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who ruled as King of France from 1 September 1715 until his death in 1774. He succeeded his great-grandfather Louis XIV at the age of five. Until he reached maturity on 15 February 1723, the kingdom was ruled by Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, as Regent of France. Cardinal Fleury was his chief minister from 1726 until the Cardinal's death in 1743, at which time the young king took sole control of the kingdom.
He was appointed historiographer of France (1771), secretary to the Academy (1783), and professor of history in the Lycée (1786). As a historiographer, Marmontel wrote a history of the regency (1788). Reduced to poverty by the French Revolution, Marmontel retired during the Reign of Terror to Evreux, and soon afterwards to a cottage at Abloville (near Saint-Aubin-sur-Gaillon) in the département of Eure. There he wrote Memoires d'un père (4 vols., 1804), including a picturesque review of his life, a literary history of two important reigns, a great gallery of portraits extending from the venerable Jean Baptiste Massillon, whom more than half a century previously he had seen at Clermont, to Honoré Mirabeau. The book was nominally written for the instruction of his children. It contains an exquisite picture of his own childhood in the Limousin; its value for the literary historian is great.
The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.
The Reign of Terror, or The Terror, refers to a period during the French Revolution after the First French Republic was established.
A cottage is, typically, a small house. It may carry the connotation of being an old or old-fashioned building. In modern usage, a cottage is usually a modest, often cosy dwelling, typically in a rural or semi-rural location.
Marmontel lived for some time under the roof of Mme Geoffrin, and was present at her famous dinners given to artists; he was welcomed into most of the houses where the encyclopaedists met, and was a contributor to the Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers .He thus had at his command the best material for his portraits, and made good use of his opportunities. After a short stay in Paris when elected in 1797 to the Conseil des Anciens, he died at Abloville.
Marie Thérèse Rodet Geoffrin was a French salon holder who has been referred to as one of the leading female figures in the French Enlightenment. From 1750–1777, Madame Geoffrin played host to many of the most influential Philosophes and Encyclopédistes of her time. Her association with several prominent dignitaries and public figures from across Europe has earned Madame Geoffrin international recognition. Her patronage and dedication to both the philosophical men of letters and talented artists that frequented her house is emblematic of her role as guide and protector. In her salon on the Rue Saint-Honoré, Madame Geoffrin demonstrated qualities of politeness and civility that helped stimulate and regulate intellectual discussion. Her actions as a Parisian salonnière exemplify many of the most important characteristics of Enlightenment sociability.
He was a member of the Masonic lodge Les Neuf Sœurs.
John Ruskin named him as one of the three people in history who were the most influential for him.In his autobiography, John Stuart Mill credits Memoires d'un père with curing him of depression.
Marmontel published many opera librettos and mostly operas comiques librettos, a genre in which he excelled but could not compete with Charles-Simon Favart.
André Ernest Modeste Grétry was a composer from the Prince-Bishopric of Liège, who worked from 1767 onwards in France and took French nationality. He is most famous for his opéras comiques.
François-Joseph Gossec was a French composer of operas, string quartets, symphonies, and choral works.
Antoine Houdar de la Motte was a French author.
Claude-Henri de Fusée, abbé de Voisenon was a French playwright and writer.
Jean-Nicolas Bouilly was a French playwright, librettist, children's writer, and politician of the French Revolution. He is best known for writing a libretto, supposedly based on a true story, about a woman who disguises herself as a man to rescue her husband from prison, which formed the basis of Beethoven's opera Fidelio as well as a number of other operas.
Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny was a French composer and a member of the French Académie des Beaux-Arts (1813).
Louis Fuzelier was a French playwright.
Opéra féerie is a French genre of opera or opéra-ballet, often with elements of magic in their stories. Popular in the 18th century, from the time of Jean-Philippe Rameau onwards, the form reached its culmination with works such as La belle au bois dormant by Michele Carafa and Cendrillon by Nicolas Isouard at the beginning of the 19th century.
Stratonice is a one-act opéra comique by Étienne Méhul to a libretto by François-Benoît Hoffman, first performed at the Théâtre Favart, Paris, on 3 May 1792. The plot is taken from De Dea Syria concerning an incident from the history of the Seleucid dynasty which ruled much of the Middle East during the Hellenistic era of the ancient world.
French opera is one of Europe's most important operatic traditions, containing works by composers of the stature of Rameau, Berlioz, Gounod, Bizet, Massenet, Debussy, Ravel, Poulenc and Messiaen. Many foreign-born composers have played a part in the French tradition as well, including Lully, Gluck, Salieri, Cherubini, Spontini, Meyerbeer, Rossini, Donizetti, Verdi and Offenbach.
Lucile is an opéra comique, described as a comédie mêlée d'ariettes, in one act by the composer André Grétry, It was first performed at the Comédie-Italienne, Paris on 5 January 1769. The French text is by Jean-François Marmontel, and the characters in the opera, though not the actual story, were derived from "L'école des pères", one of Marmontel's Contes moraux. The melody from "Où peut-on être mieux qu'au sein de sa famille?" was later reused in Vieuxtemps' Violin Concerto No. 5, Op.37.
Jean Elleviou was a French operatic tenor, one of the most celebrated French singers of his time.
The abbé Simon-Joseph Pellegrin (1663 – 5 September 1745) was a French poet and playwright, a librettist who collaborated with Jean-Philippe Rameau and other composers.
Nicolas-Étienne Framery was a French music theorist, critic and lyric writer associated with opera, especially opéra comique. He wrote and adapted librettos. His work became more academic and abstract and he eventually became surintendant de la musique for the Comte d'Artois,.
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.
Jean-Baptiste Pellissier, full name Pierre Jean-Baptiste Pellissier de Labatut, was a 19th-century French playwright and journalist.
Baron Auguste Creuzé de Lesser was a French poet, playwright, librettist and politician.
Clairval, real name Jean-Baptiste Guignard, was an 18th-century French operatic singer (tenor), comedian and librettist. He played with the same authority drama, comedy and opera, in a considerable number of roles. Among the most notable were:
Antoine-Alexandre-Henri Poinsinet, nicknamed "le jeune", was an 18th-century French playwright and librettist.
Silvain is a one-act opéra-comique by André Grétry with a libretto by Jean-François Marmontel. It was first performed at the Comédie-Italienne on 19 February 1770 and was one of Grétry's biggest early successes. The plot concerns Silvain, who works as a poor farmer after being disinherited by his rich father for marrying a lower class woman. The pastoral theme and its celebration of rural life was common in opéra-comique of the time but Marmontel's libretto goes much further in advocating social equality and defending the rights of peasants against the encroachment of landowners.