Thésée ( Theseus ) is an opera by the French composer Jean-Joseph de Mondonville, first performed at the Palace of Fontainebleau on 7 November 1765. It takes the form of a tragédie en musique in five acts. The opera is a new setting of a libretto by Philippe Quinault, originally set by Jean-Baptiste Lully in 1675. Mondonville's version was not a success and did not get to enjoy its public premiere at the Paris Opera until 13 January 1767, but audience rejected it calling for the restoration of Lully's original music. Mondonville's opera was withdrawn for good after its fourth performance.
|Cast||Voice type||Premiere, 7 November 1765 |
( Conductor: – )
|Eglé (Aegle), a princess raised under the tutelage of Egée, King of Athens||soprano||Sophie Arnould|
|Cleone, a confidante of Eglé||soprano||Mlle Avenaux|
|The high priestess of Minerva||soprano||Marie-Jeanne Larrivée Lemière|
|Egée (Aegeus), King of Athens||basse-taille (bass-baritone)||Henri Larrivée|
|Arcas, a confidant of Egée||haute-contre||M Muguet|
|Médée (Medea), a magician princess||soprano||Mlle Dubois (or Du Bois)|
|Dorine, a confidante of Médée||soprano||Mlle Dubrieul|
|Thésée (Theseus), Egée's unknown son||haute-contre||Joseph Legros|
|A woman from Athens||soprano||Marie-Jeanne Larrivée Lemière|
|A shepherd from the enchanted island||haute-contre||M Muguet|
|A shepherdess from the enchanted island||soprano||Marie-Jeanne Larrivée Lemière|
Armide is an opera by Christoph Willibald Gluck, set to a libretto by Philippe Quinault. Gluck's fifth production for the Parisian stage and the composer's own favourite among his works, it was first performed on 23 September 1777 by the Académie Royale de Musique in the second Salle du Palais-Royal in Paris.
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 2,723-seat theatre Opéra Bastille which opened in 1989, and ballets and some classical operas at the older 1,979-seat Palais Garnier which opened in 1875. Small scale and contemporary works are also staged in the 500-seat Amphitheatre under the Opéra Bastille.
Jean-Joseph de Mondonville, also known as Jean-Joseph Cassanéa de Mondonville, was a French violinist and composer. He was a younger contemporary of Jean-Philippe Rameau and enjoyed great success in his day. Pierre-Louis Daquin claimed, "If I couldn't be Rameau, there's no one I would rather be than Mondonville".
Opéra-ballet is a genre of French Baroque lyric theatre that was most popular during the 18th century, combining elements of opera and ballet, "that grew out of the ballets à entrées of the early seventeenth century". It differed from the more elevated tragédie en musique as practised by Jean-Baptiste Lully in several ways. It contained more dance music than the tragédie, and the plots were not necessarily derived from classical mythology and allowed for the comic elements, which Lully had excluded from the tragédie en musique after Thésée (1675). The opéra-ballet consisted of a prologue followed by a number of self-contained acts, often loosely grouped around a single theme. The individual acts could also be performed independently, in which case they were known as actes de ballet.
Isis is a French opera in a prologue and five acts with music by Jean-Baptiste Lully and a libretto by Philippe Quinault, based on Ovid's Metamorphoses. The fifth of Lully's collaborations with Quinault, it was first performed on 5 January 1677 before the royal court of Louis XIV at the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye and in August received a run of public performances at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal. It was Lully's first published score ; a full score was published in 1719.
Bellérophon is an opera with music by Jean-Baptiste Lully and a libretto by Thomas Corneille and Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle first performed by the Opéra at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal in Paris on 31 January 1679.
Achille et Polyxène is a tragédie lyrique containing a prologue and five acts based on Virgil's Aeneid with a French libretto by Jean Galbert de Campistron. The opera's overture and first act were composed by Jean-Baptiste Lully, who died from a conducting injury before he could complete the score. The prologue and the remaining acts are the work of his pupil Pascal Collasse who finished the work, eight months after Lully's death on 22 March 1687. Acts 1 and 4 of the ballet was created by Louis Lestang, and the ballet to the prologue and acts 2 and 3 were by Louis-Guillaume Pécour. The opera was first performed on 7 November 1687, by the Paris Opera at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal in Paris.
Phaëton is a tragédie en musique in a prologue and five acts by Jean-Baptiste Lully. Philippe Quinault wrote the French libretto after a story from Ovid's Metamorphoses. It can be read as an allegorical depiction of the punishment awaiting those mortals who dare to raise themselves as high as the "sun".
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.
Tom Jones is a comédie mêlée d'ariettes, a kind of opéra comique, by the French composer François-André Danican Philidor which first appeared at the Comédie-Italienne, Paris, on 27 February 1765. Its French libretto, by Antoine-Alexandre-Henri Poisenet and Bertin Davesne, is loosely based on the 1749 novel by Henry Fielding.
The musical scores to several operas by the French composer Jean-Philippe Rameau have been lost. They include two major tragédies en musique, Samson and Linus, and a one-act pastoral opera Lisis et Délie. The music to these pieces was substantially complete and was performed in rehearsal but for various reasons - including censorship in the case of Samson - they were never publicly staged. Rameau also wrote a divertissement for Alexis Piron's play Les courses de Tempé, which did appear at the theatre in 1734. The music to all these works has been almost completely lost, although there is evidence Rameau reused some of it in his later operas. Rameau also began other operatic projects, which were either abandoned at an early stage (Pandore) or broken up to form shorter works.
Pierre Jélyotte was a French operatic tenor, particularly associated with works by Rameau, Lully, Campra, Mondonville and Destouches.
Les festes vénitiennes, also spelled Les fêtes vénitiennes, is an opéra-ballet by the French composer André Campra. It consists of a prologue and three entrées. All versions of the libretto are by Antoine Danchet. It was first performed on 17 June 1710 by the Académie royale de musique in the Salle du Palais-Royal in Paris. According to the usage of the time, it was originally simply billed as a "ballet", but it is one of the most important and successful instances of the new genre later classified by scholars as opéra-ballet, which had become popular in Paris around the end of the 17th century.
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.
Atys is a tragédie lyrique in three acts by Niccolò Piccinni with a French libretto by Jean-François Marmontel. Marmontel's libretto was based upon Philippe Quinault's libretto for Jean-Baptiste Lully's 1676 opera of the same title. Quinault based his rendition on Ovid's Fasti. Marmontel adapted Quinault's libretto and modified it by removing the prologue and divertissements. He also altered the plot; instead of using Ovid's metamorphic ending, Atys commits suicide. Piccinni's opera was premiered by the Paris Opera at the second Salle du Palais-Royal on 22 February 1780. Musically the opera is admired for its fugal overture, the dream sequence in act 2, the long quartet at the dramatic climax, and the somber dirge with which it ends.
Anacréon is an opera by Jean-Philippe Rameau which was first performed at Fontainebleau on 23 October 1754. Its libretto is by Louis de Cahusac. It takes the form of an acte de ballet in one act. Rameau also composed another Anacréon in 1757. The latter was an act added to a revival of the opéra-balletLes surprises de l'Amour and has sometimes been performed and recorded as a stand-alone opera. It too features the Ancient Greek poet Anacreon as its hero, but the libretto and its plot are totally different.
Daphnis et Alcimadure is an opera by the Baroque violinist, conductor and composer Jean-Joseph Cassanéa de Mondonville to a libretto in the Occitan language, written by the composer himself and loosely inspired by La Fontaine's fable bearing the same title. It takes the form of a pastorale in three acts and was later endowed with a prologue in French entitled Les jeux floraux, to a libretto by Claude-Henri de Fusée de Voisenon.
Étienne-Joseph Floquet was a French composer, mainly of operas. He was born in Aix-en-Provence and began his career by writing church music, before moving to Paris in 1767. There, Floquet made a name for himself with the requiem he wrote for the funeral of the composer Jean-Joseph de Mondonville in 1772. Floquet's first work for the Paris Opéra, the ballet héroïqueL'union de l'amour et les arts, was a triumph, enjoying 60 performances between its premiere in September 1773 and January 1774. The audience at the premiere was so enthusiastic that the performance had to be stopped several times because of the applause and, at the final curtain, Floquet was presented on stage, the first composer in the history of the Paris Opéra to enjoy such an honour. However, the arrival of the German composer Christoph Willibald Gluck in Paris later that year changed French musical taste and Floquet's style became unfashionable. After the failure of his next opera, Azolan, Floquet decided to travel to Italy to perfect his musical education. There he studied composition under Nicola Sala in Naples and counterpoint under Padre Martini in Bologna, where he turned momentarily back to church music composing a Te Deum.
Proserpine is a French-language opera by the Italian composer Giovanni Paisiello. It takes the form of a tragédie lyrique in three acts. The libretto, by Nicolas-François Guillard, is a reworking of Philippe Quinault's Proserpine. Paisiello's opera was first performed on 28 March 1803 at the Paris Opéra.