Tom Jones (Philidor)

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Tom Jones
Opéra comique by François-André Danican Philidor
Andre Philidor.jpg
Portrait of Philidor, London, 1777
  • Antoine-Alexandre-Henri Poisenet
  • Bertin Davesne
Based onHenry Fielding's The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling
27 February 1765 (1765-02-27)

Tom Jones is a comédie mêlée d'ariettes, a kind of opéra comique, by the French composer and chess champion 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 opera was initially a failure but Philidor had the libretto revised by Michel-Jean Sedaine and this new version, first performed on 30 January 1766, proved one of the most popular opéras comiques of the late 18th century. It was produced in a number of other countries, and translated into German, Swedish and Russian.


Role Voice type Premiere cast, 27 February 1765
(Conductor: )
Monsieur Western bass Joseph Caillot
Madame Western, his sister mezzo-soprano Bérard
Sophie, his daughter soprano Desglands
Honora, her companionsoprano Marie-Thérèse Laruette-Villette
Allworthy, their neighbour baritone Antoine Trial
Tom Jones, his ward tenor Clairval (Jean-Baptiste Guignard)
Blifil, Allworthy's nephewtenorJean-Louis Laruette
Quaker Dowlingspoken


François-André Danican Philidor: Tom Jones, Lausanne Opera and Le Sinfonietta de Lausanne


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