|opéra comique by Jules Massenet|
The composer in the 1860s
|Based on|| Manon Lescaut |
by Abbé Prévost
|Premiere||3 April 1867|
La grand'tante (The great-aunt) is an opéra comique in one act by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Jules Adenis and Charles Grandvallet. It was first performed at the Opéra-Comique in Paris on 3 April 1867. Though not the first opera composed by Massenet, it was the first of his stage works to be mounted on the stage. The work consists of an overture followed by six vocal numbers (solos, duets and a final trio) with spoken dialogue in between.
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.
Jules Émile Frédéric Massenet was a French composer of the Romantic era best known for his operas, of which he wrote more than thirty. The two most frequently staged are Manon (1884) and Werther (1892). He also composed oratorios, ballets, orchestral works, incidental music, piano pieces, songs and other music.
A libretto is the text used in, or intended for, an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata or musical. The term libretto is also sometimes used to refer to the text of major liturgical works, such as the Mass, requiem and sacred cantata, or the story line of a ballet.
|Role||Voice type||Premiere Cast, 3 April 1867|
|Le Marquis de Kerdrel||tenor||Victor Capoul|
|Alice de Kerdrel||soprano||Marie Heilbronn|
|La Chevrette||soprano||Caroline Girard|
The Marquis Guy de Kerdrel returns from his regiment in Africa to claim an inheritance from his late great-uncle, whom he had never met. He is unimpressed by the condition of the property he has inherited but is reassured by the thought that he can at least liquidate the asset at auction. That way he will have some compensation for his relative's frequent refusal, in letters signed with a characteristic monogram, to give the spendthrift soldier any money. Chevrette, the domestic, lets slip in conversation that the old Marquis had written a new will leaving everything to his widow but that Alice, the Marquise, had been so concerned that his last hours should not be troubled that she refused the notary access to get the document signed thus allowing the scapegrace great-nephew to inherit after all. Guy stretches out to sleep, planning to finish the business the following day. He catches a momentary glimpse of a beautiful girl, almost as if in a dream, and learns from Chevrette later that this must be the widow, whom Guy had imagined to be an old hag... he falls in love almost without hesitation.
Africa is the world's second largest and second most-populous continent, being behind Asia in both categories. At about 30.3 million km2 including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagos. It contains 54 fully recognised sovereign states (countries), nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition. The majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere.
Chevrette asks Guy if he might sell the portrait of his great-uncle to Alice as a keepsake of her husband, whom she loved as a father. Guy, now in love, indignantly declares that she may have it as a gift. Chevrette goes to give the good news to the widow and Guy slips into his great-uncle's room to have a look at this portrait and see what his relative looked like.
Guy hopes that the Marquise will continue to live in the castle but she refuses on the grounds that it no longer belongs to her. He mentions the second (unsigned) will, but she declares that she threw it into the fire. He then has the portrait that he promised her brought in from the adjoining room. To everyone's surprise, a document falls out from the frame - it is the famous second will, now signed with the old man's distinctive monogram. It turns out that Chevrette had salvaged the partly burned document from the fire and jammed it into the frame, naïvely believing that if she prayed hard enough to Saint Gildas, the old man would return from the after-life to sign it. Alice is sure that Guy has forged the signature but he will admit nothing. He leaves the mourning widow to her property with the assurance that he will soon return and claim her.
Mary Garden was a Scottish operatic soprano with a substantial career in France and America in the first third of the 20th century. She spent the latter part of her childhood and youth in the United States and eventually became an American citizen, although she lived in France for many years and eventually retired to Scotland, where she died.
Manon is an opéra comique in five acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Henri Meilhac and Philippe Gille, based on the 1731 novel L’histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut by the Abbé Prévost. It was first performed at the Opéra-Comique in Paris on 19 January 1884, with sets designed by Eugène Carpezat, Auguste Alfred Rubé and Philippe Chaperon, and Jean-Baptiste Lavastre.
Werther is an opera in four acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Édouard Blau, Paul Milliet and Georges Hartmann. It is loosely based on the German epistolary novel The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, which was based both on fact and on Goethe's own early life. Earlier examples of operas using the story were made by Kreutzer (1792) and Pucitta (1802).
Don Quichotte is an opera in five acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Henri Caïn. It was first performed on 19 February 1910 at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo.
Don César de Bazan is an opéra comique in four acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Adolphe d'Ennery, Philippe-François Pinel "Dumanoir" and Jules Chantepie, based on the drama Ruy Blas by Victor Hugo. It was first performed at the Opéra-Comique in Paris on 30 November 1872.
Le portrait de Manon is an opéra comique in one act by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Georges Boyer. It is related to Massenet's 1884 opera Manon, widely regarded to be his masterpiece. However Le portrait de Manon is rarely performed today.
Cendrillon (Cinderella) is an opera—described as a "fairy tale"—in four acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Henri Caïn based on Perrault's 1698 version of the Cinderella fairy tale.
Claude Terrasse was a French composer of operettas.
Emma Calvé, born Rosa Emma Calvet, was a French operatic soprano.
Grisélidis is an opera in three acts and a prologue by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Armand Silvestre and Eugène Morand. It is based on the play by the same authors first performed at the Comédie-Française on 15 May 1891, which is drawn from the medieval tale of 'patient Grissil'. The story is set in 14th century Provence, and concerns the shepherdess, Grisélidis, and a number of attempts by the Devil to lure her into infidelity. Grisélidis' loyalty to her husband, The Marquis, is strong, however, and the devil is vanquished.
Jules Adenis was a 19th-century French playwright and opera librettist. Some of his works include Un postillon en gage (1856) Sylvie (1864), and La grand'tante (1867).
Marie van Zandt was an American soprano.
Jules Danbé was a French violinist, composer and conductor, mainly of opera.
Marthe Chenal was a French operatic soprano who had an active singing career between 1905 and 1923. Although she made a number of appearances with opera companies throughout the French provinces and on the international stage, her career was mainly centered at the Palais Garnier and the Opéra-Comique in Paris. She particularly excelled in the works of Jules Massenet and was an exponent of the works of Camille Erlanger.
Le roi l'a dit is an opéra comique in three acts by Léo Delibes to a French libretto by Edmond Gondinet. It is a lively comedy, remarkably requiring 14 singers – six men and eight women. The libretto had first been offered in 1871 to Offenbach; the title also went through various permutations before settling on its final name. The 1885 revival brought further modifications to the libretto.
Marguerite Bériza was a French opera singer who had an active international career during the first half of the 20th century. She began her career as a mezzo-soprano at the Opéra-Comique in 1900; ultimately transitioning into the leading soprano repertoire at that theatre in 1912. She performed extensively in the United States from 1914–1917 and was also heard as a guest artist at theatres in the French provinces, Monaco, Portugal, and Switzerland during her career. In 1924 she founded her own opera company in Paris with whom she actively performed up until 1930.
Alice Zeppilli was a French operatic soprano of Italian heritage who had an active international singing career from 1901 to 1930. The pinnacle of her career was in the United States where she enjoyed great popularity between 1906 and 1914; particularly in the cities of Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia. She was popular in Monte Carlo where she performed frequently from 1904–19 and later worked as a singing teacher after her retirement from the stage. She made only one recording, a phonograph cylinder for Columbia Records consisting of the Gavotte from Jules Massenet's Manon and Olympia's "Doll aria" from Jacques Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann.
Ernest Henri Alexandre Boulanger was a French composer of comic operas and a conductor. He was more known, however, for being a choral music composer, choral group director, voice teacher, and vocal contest jury member.
Valentine d'Aubigny is an opéra comique in three acts composed by Fromental Halévy to a libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré. It premiered in Paris on 26 April 1856 at the Théâtre de l'Opéra-Comique. The comic story is set in Fontainebleau and Paris at the beginning of the 18th century and revolves around mistaken identities and the machinations of the Chevalier de Boisrobert and Sylvia, an actress at the Théâtre-Italien, who try but ultimately fail to prevent the marriage of Gilbert de Mauléon and Valentine d'Aubigny.
The International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP), also known as the Petrucci Music Library after publisher Ottaviano Petrucci, is a subscription-based project for the creation of a virtual library of public-domain music scores. Since its launch on February 16, 2006, over 370,000 scores and 42,000 recordings for over 110,000 works by over 14,000 composers have been uploaded. Based on the wiki principle, the project uses MediaWiki software. Since June 6, 2010, the IMSLP has also included public domain and licensed recordings in its scope, to allow for study by ear.
The Wayback Machine is a digital archive of the World Wide Web and other information on the Internet. It was launched in 2001 by the Internet Archive, a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California, United States.