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)

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)

73. Le nozze di Figaro [The Marriage of Figaro] (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)

LE NOZZE DI FIGARO (THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO) Opera comica in 4 acts Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Libretto: Lorenzo da Ponte, after Beaumarchais First performed: Burgtheater, Vienna, 1 May 1786, conducted by Mozart Dossier (Parts of this post come from an article published in The Canberra Times, 10 August 2016.) PLOT Wedding preparations can be hell.  For audiences, … Continue reading 73. Le nozze di Figaro [The Marriage of Figaro] (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)

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)

12. Nina (Giovanni Paisiello)

NINA, O SIA LA PAZZA PER AMORE Commedia per musica in 1 act By Giovanni Paisiello Libretto: Giuseppe Carpani and Giovanni Battista Lorenzi, after Benoît-Joseph Marsollier de Vivetières’ Nina ou La folle par amour First performed: Belvedere di San Leucio, Caserta, 25 June 1789 Revised: Teatro dei Fiorentini, Naples, in 2 acts, autumn 1790 Reception: … Continue reading 12. Nina (Giovanni Paisiello)

11. Stratonice – Étienne-Nicolas Méhul

  STRATONICE Opéra-comique in 1 act By Étienne Nicolas Méhul Libretto : François-Benoit Hoffman, after De Dea Syria (attributed to Lucan) First performed : Théatre Favart, Paris, 3 May 1792 Dossier. STORY SÉLEUCUS, King of Syria (taille = baritenor) ANTIOCHUS, his son (haute-contre) STRATONICE, promised to Séleucus (soprano) ERASISTRATE, doctor (baritone) Setting: Damascus, in the King's Palace, in Antiochus's room   … Continue reading 11. Stratonice – Étienne-Nicolas Méhul

2. Iphigénie en Tauride (C.W. Gluck)

IPHIGÉNIE EN TAURIDE By Christoph Willibald Gluck Tragédie lyrique in 4 acts Libretto : Nicolas-François Guillard (1752–1814), after Euripides’ tragedy First performed: Académie Royale de Musique (2e salle du Palais-Royal), 18 May 1779 Dossier. Today is Mother’s Day.  Here’s an important moral lesson: Don’t kill her. STORY IPHIGÉNIE, high priestess (soprano dramatique) ORESTE, her brother (baritone) PYLADE, Greek … Continue reading 2. Iphigénie en Tauride (C.W. Gluck)