71. Atys (Jean-Baptiste Lully)

Tragédie in 5 acts and a prologue Composer: Jean-Baptiste de Lully Librettist: Philippe Quinault First performed: Saint-Germain, before Louis XIV, 10 January 1676; Paris, August 1677 Dossier BACKGROUND Atys was known as "l'opéra du Roy", the King's opera. It was first performed at Saint-Germain, before Louis XIV.  The king had it performed for him again in 1676, 1678, and … Continue reading 71. Atys (Jean-Baptiste Lully)

70. Cadmus et Hermione (Jean-Baptiste Lully)

CADMUS ET HERMIONE Tragédie in 5 acts and a prologue Composer: Jean-Baptiste de Lully Librettist: Philippe Quinault First performed: Paris, jeu de paume de Bel-Air, 27 April 1673 Dossier BACKGROUND The father of French opera was an Italian. The young Giovanni Battista Lulli accompanied Louis XIV’s cousin Anne-Marie-Louise d’Orléans, duchess of Montpensier, “the Grand Mademoiselle”, to France … Continue reading 70. Cadmus et Hermione (Jean-Baptiste Lully)

69. Adriana Lecouvreur (Francesco Cilea)

ADRIANA LECOUVREUR Composer: Francesco Cilea Stageplay by Eugène Scribe and Ernest Legouvé reduced to 4 acts for the lyric stage by Arturo Colautti First performed: Teatro Lirico, Milan, 6 November 1902, conducted by Cleofonte Campanini Dossier Cilea slays it with flowers in this tale of love and rivalry in 18th century Paris. CHARACTERS MAURIZIO, conte di … Continue reading 69. Adriana Lecouvreur (Francesco Cilea)

68. Re Lear (Antonio Cagnoni)

Tragedia lirica in 4 acts Composer: Antonio Cagnoni Libretto: Antonio Ghislanzoni, after Shakespeare Composed c. 1880-1885. First performed: Martina Franca, 19 July 2009, conducted by Massimiliano Caldi Dossier King Lear - where Edgar loves Cordelia, Edmund barely exists, the dramatist has little feeling for Shakespeare, and the composer lacks imagination? "Fie, fie, fie! pah, pah!" CHARACTERS … Continue reading 68. Re Lear (Antonio Cagnoni)

Ricciardo Vagniero

My friend Phil recently posted on a rarity: Loengrino, by the obscure Italian composer Ricciardo Vagniero. It is one of the most beautiful Italian operas I know, a testament to the glories of bel canto, a worthy successor to the heritage of Rossini and Donizetti. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfMdpfcBaxs Vagniero was a true son of Italy, a fertile vine … Continue reading Ricciardo Vagniero

67. Der Schauspieldirektor (W.A. Mozart)

DER SCHAUSPIELDIREKTOR Komische Operette in 1 act - KV 486 Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Libretto: Gottlieb Stephanie the Younger First performed: Schönnbrunn Palace, Vienna, 7 February 1786; Kärntnertor Theater, Vienna, 11 February 1786 Dossier An imperial command is hard to refuse.  Mozart, halfway through a little number called The Marriage of Figaro, was ordered to compose after-dinner … Continue reading 67. Der Schauspieldirektor (W.A. Mozart)

66. Turandot (Giacomo Puccini)

Lyric drama in 3 acts and 5 scenes Composer: Giacomo Puccini Librettists: Giuseppe Adami & Renato Simoni, after Carlo Gozzi's commedia dell'arte Chinoiserie Turandotte (1762) First performed: Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 25 April 1926 Dossier   Turandot was Puccini's last opera: a dream-like work set in Ancient China about a frigid princess who beheads her suitors, … Continue reading 66. Turandot (Giacomo Puccini)