|Opéra comique by François-André Danican Philidor|
|Based on||Henry Fielding's The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling|
27 February 1765
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 |
|Monsieur Western||bass||Joseph Caillot|
|Madame Western, his sister||mezzo-soprano||Bérard|
|Sophie, his daughter||soprano||Desglands|
|Honora, her companion||soprano||Marie-Thérèse Laruette-Villette|
|Allworthy, their neighbour||baritone||Antoine Trial|
|Tom Jones, his ward||tenor||Clairval (Jean-Baptiste Guignard)|
|Blifil, Allworthy's nephew||tenor||Jean-Louis Laruette|
François-André Danican Philidor: Tom Jones, Lausanne Opera and Le Sinfonietta de Lausanne
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 widely 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, an endgame position, and a checkmate method are all named after him.
Philidor (Filidor) or Danican Philidor was a family of musicians that served as court musicians to the French kings. The original name of the family was Danican (D'Anican) and was of Scottish origin (Duncan). Philidor was a later addition to the family name, given first to Michel the elder by Louis XIII because his oboe playing reminded the king of an Italian virtuoso oboist named Filidori. Both Michel the younger and Jean played in the Grande Écurie in Paris. Later members of the family were known as composers as well. One of them was a chess master.
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