Tom Jones (Philidor)

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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 novel by Henry Fielding.

The French term comédie mêlée d'ariettes was frequently used during the late ancien régime for certain types of opéra comique.

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.

François-André Danican Philidor French composer and chess player

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 also 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 and a checkmate method are both named after him.

Contents

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.

Michel-Jean Sedaine French writer

Michel-Jean Sedaine was a French dramatist and librettist, especially noted for his librettos for opéras comiques, in which he took an important and influential role in the advancement of the genre from the period of Charles-Simon Favart to the beginning of the Revolution.

Roles

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

Recordings

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

Lausanne Opera opera house in Lausanne, Switzerland

With over 140 years of history, the Lausanne Opera continues to respond to the public’s growing demand for lyrical performances. Once known as a municipal theater, it has transformed into a world renowned opera house that produces and co-produces their own productions. With a stage renovation in 2012, the Lausanne Opera offers a wide variety of operas, from baroque to contemporary, along with concerts and ballets. Thanks to its bold programming and emphasis on quality vocals and stage production, the Lausanne Opera welcomes over 45'000 spectators a year and continues to make itself known internationally.

Jean-Claude Malgoire French musician

Jean-Claude Malgoire was a French conductor.

Sources

    The New Grove Dictionary of Opera is an encyclopedia of opera, considered to be one of the best general reference sources on the subject. It is the largest work on opera in English, and in its printed form, amounts to 5,448 pages in four volumes.

    Stanley John Sadie was an influential and prolific British musicologist, music critic, and editor. He was editor of the sixth edition of the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1980), which was published as the first edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.

    International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

    The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

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    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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