100. Patrie! (Emile Paladilhe)

Well, here we are; a century down, and still not dead. I’ve always wanted to use my blog to argue the case for obscure works. This is the first of a new series: presentations of operas that haven’t been performed in living memory; from which at most only a few extracts may have been recorded … Continue reading 100. Patrie! (Emile Paladilhe)

99. Renard (Igor Stravinsky)

Histoire burlesque chantée et jouée Composer: Igor Stravinsky Based on Russian folk tales from Alexander Afanaseyev's collection First performed: Théâtre de l'Opéra, Paris, 18 May 1922, in a double bill with Mavra “Le Renard continues the great Stravinskist tradition,” Vogue (1 July 1922) wrote when the Ballets Russes premièred the opera-ballet in Paris. This “burlesque … Continue reading 99. Renard (Igor Stravinsky)

98. M. Choufleuri restera chez lui le… (Jacques Offenbach)

Operette bouffe in 1 act Composer: Jacques Offenbach and M. de Saint Rémy [pseudonym of the Duc de Morny]. Libretto: Ludovic Halévy, Hector Crémieux, et Ernest L’Epine First performed: Salons du Corps législatif, Palais Bourbon, 31 May 1861, in the presence of Napoléon III. First public performance: Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens, 14 September 1861 M. Choufleuri (“Mr Cauliflower”), a … Continue reading 98. M. Choufleuri restera chez lui le… (Jacques Offenbach)

97. L’étranger (Vincent d’Indy)

Action musicale in 2 acts Music & poem: Vincent d'Indy First performed: Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Brussels, 7 January 1903 L étranger is a jewel of an opera, melancholy and mysterious as the ocean. It is, like Fervaal, a religious opera; while the earlier work is Frenchified Wagner, a saga of Celts at the waning … Continue reading 97. L’étranger (Vincent d’Indy)

96. Fervaal (Vincent D’Indy)

Action musicale in 3 acts and a prologue Poem & music: Vincent d'Indy, after Esaias Tegnér's Axel First performed: Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels, 12 March 1897 Fervaal, d'Indy's Wagnerian mystical Celtic opera, was the best opera since Parsifal, and marked a new age in French music.  So thought the critics. Fervaal badly needs a complete recording to … Continue reading 96. Fervaal (Vincent D’Indy)

95. Guercœur (Albéric Magnard)

GUERCŒUR Tragédie en musique in 3 acts and 5 tableaux Composer & libretto: Albéric Magnard Written 1898–1900.  First performed : Théâtre de l’Opéra (Palais Garnier), Paris, 23 April 1931 Albéric Magnard was murdered by German soldiers in 1914. Next year, Guercœur, an ultra-rarity, will be performed in Germany. Magnard, I think, would have appreciated this. For … Continue reading 95. Guercœur (Albéric Magnard)

94. Simon Boccanegra (Giuseppe Verdi)

Opera in a prologue and three acts Composer: Giuseppe Verdi Libretto: Francesco Maria Piave, with additions by Giuseppe Montanelli, after Antonio García Gutiérrez's play Simón Bocanegra First performed: Teatro la Fenice, Venice, 12 March 1857 Revised version: Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 24 March 1881, with additions and alterations by Arrigo Boito "I've had a fiasco in … Continue reading 94. Simon Boccanegra (Giuseppe Verdi)