87. Hippolyte et Aricie (Jean-Philippe Rameau)

HIPPOLYTE ET ARICIE Tragédie lyrique in 5 actes and a prologue Composer: Jean-Philippe Rameau Librettist: Abbé Pellegrin First performed: Académie Royale de Musique at its theatre in the Palais-Royal, Paris, 1 October 1733 Dossier Halte-là!  Are you a Ramiste or a Lulliste?  And shall we fight a duel? Those were serious questions in early 18th century … Continue reading 87. Hippolyte et Aricie (Jean-Philippe Rameau)

86. Raymond and Agnes (Edward Loder)

RAYMOND AND AGNES Grand opera in three acts Composer: Edward Loder Libretto: Edward Fitzball First performed: Theatre Royal, Manchester, 14 August 1855 Dossier So there is opera in England between Handel and G&S! Retrospect Opera, devoted to British opera, released last month the premiere recording of Loder's Raymond and Agnes (1855), one of the most important mid-19th century … Continue reading 86. Raymond and Agnes (Edward Loder)

85. Caritea, regina di Spagna (Saverio Mercadante)

Melodramma serio in 2 acts Composer: Saverio Mercadante Libretto: Paolo Pola First performed: Teatro la Fenice, Venice, 21 February 1826 CHARACTERS CARITEA (soprano): Ester Mombelli DON ALFONSO, King of Portugal (tenor): Domenico Donzelli DON DIEGO, under the name of Don Pirro of Aragon, son of Don Fernando (contralto): Isabella Fabbrica DON FERNANDO, old Spanish captain general (bass): Domenico Cosselli DON RODRIGO, … Continue reading 85. Caritea, regina di Spagna (Saverio Mercadante)

84. The prolific Pacini in Pompei

Giovanni Pacini may hold the record as the 19th century's most prolific opera composer.  His contemporaries reckoned he'd written a hundred works; closer attention whittled this down to a more manageable 74. Nearly all of them have been forgotten. “This abandonment,” Arthur Pougin (Le Ménestrel, 28 October 1866) wrote, “is the just punishment that awaits a man … Continue reading 84. The prolific Pacini in Pompei

He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!

After 11 years, I have finally seen Meyerbeer's grand opera Le Prophète. Utterly extraordinary.   It's one of the half-dozen best operas ever, if not at the absolute pinnacle. [1] You can watch the video here: https://culturebox.francetvinfo.fr/opera-classique/opera/le-prophete-de-meyerbeer-au-theatre-du-capitole-a-toulouse-271753 Setting: The Netherlands and Germany, during the 16th-century Wars of Religion. Characters: A murderous demagogue, self-proclaimed Messiah and Son of … Continue reading He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!

83. Pelagio (Saverio Mercadante)

PELAGIO Tragedia lirica in 4 acts Composer: Saverio Mercadante Libretto: Marco D’Arienzo First performed: Teatro San Carlo, Naples, 12 February 1857 Dossier CHARACTERS PELAGIO (baritone): Filippo Coletti ABDEL-AOR, governor of Gijón (tenor): Lodovico Graziani BIANCA, Pelagio’s daughter (soprano): Fortunata Tedesco GIRALDA, Bianca’s companion (contralto): Schiavi ASAN, captain of the Moors (bass): Marco Arati ALIATAR, guard on Abdel’s rooms (bass): Nicola Monti MENDO … Continue reading 83. Pelagio (Saverio Mercadante)

82. Œdipe à Colone (Antonio Sacchini)

ŒDIPE À COLONE Tragédie-opéra in 3 acts Composer: Antonio Sacchini Libretto: Nicolas-François Guillard, after Sophocles First performed: Versailles, 4 January 1786, then at Paris, at the Académie Royale de Musique (salle de la Porte Saint-Martin), 1 February 1787, conducted by Jean-Baptiste Rey Dossier CHARACTERS Œdipe (basse-taille): Augustin Chéron Antigone (soprano): Anne Chéron Polinice (tenor): Étienne Lainez Thésée (baritenor): Louis-Claude-Armand Chardin (“Chardiny”) High Priest (basse-taille): … Continue reading 82. Œdipe à Colone (Antonio Sacchini)