61. Fernand Cortez (Gaspare Spontini)

FERNAND CORTEZ, OU LA CONQUÊTE DE MÉXIQUE Tragédie lyrique in 3 acts Composer: Gaspare Spontini Libretto: Étienne de Jouy and Joseph-Alphonse Esménard, after Alexis Piron’s play First performed: Opéra de Paris [Académie Impériale de Musique] (salle Montansier), 28 November 1809, conducted by Jean-Baptiste Rey Dossier My friend Phil has just reviewed this work on his Opera … Continue reading 61. Fernand Cortez (Gaspare Spontini)

60. La Bohème (Giacomo Puccini)

Opera in 4 acts By Giacomo Puccini Libretto: Giuseppe Giacosa & Luigi Illica, after Scènes de la vie de bohème by Henry Murger (1851) First performed: Teatro Rugin, Turin, 1 February 1896, conducted by Arturo Toscanini Dossier STORY RODOLFO, a poet (tenor) MARCELLO, a painter (baritone) SCHAUNARD, a musician (baritone) COLLINE, a philosopher (bass) MIMI (soprano) MUSETTA (soprano) SETTING: Paris, about 1830 Synopsis based … Continue reading 60. La Bohème (Giacomo Puccini)

59. Les Troyens (Hector Berlioz)

Poëme lyrique in 5 acts Composer & librettist: Hector Berlioz, after books II & IV of Virgil’s Æneid Composed 1856-1858. First performed: Acts III-V (with cuts), as Les Troyens à Carthage, Théâtre Lyrique, Paris, 4 November 1863.  Concert performances of Acts I-II (La prise de Troie), Paris, 7 December 1879.  First staged performance: Karlsruhe, Germany, 1890. Dossier   … Continue reading 59. Les Troyens (Hector Berlioz)

24. Béatrice et Bénédict (Hector Berlioz)

Opéra-comique in 2 acts Music and libretto by Hector Berlioz, after Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing First performed: Theater Baden-Baden, Germany, 9 August 1862 Dossier STORY BÉATRICE, Léonato’s niece (mezzo-soprano) HÉRO, Léonato’s daughter (soprano) URSULE, Héro’s maid in waiting (contralto) BÉNÉDICT, Sicilian officer, Claudio’s friend (tenor) CLAUDIO, Don Pedro’s aide de campe (baritone) DON PÉDRO, … Continue reading 24. Béatrice et Bénédict (Hector Berlioz)

23. Tromb-al-ca-zar (Jacques Offenbach)

TROMB-AL-CA-ZAR, OU LES CRIMINELS DRAMATIQUES Bouffonnerie musicale in 1 act By Jacques Offenbach Libretto: Charles-Désiré Dupeuty & Ernest Bourget First performed : Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens, 3 April 1856 Dossier STORY IGNACE (bass) BEAUJOLAIS (tenor) VERT-PANNÉ (baritone) GIGOLETTE (soprano) SETTING: An inn on the coast near Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Basses-Pyrénées, France. Libretto (in French). COMMENTARY The prolific Offenbach wrote nearly 60 operas for … Continue reading 23. Tromb-al-ca-zar (Jacques Offenbach)

22. La forza del destino (Giuseppe Verdi)

Opera in 4 acts By Giuseppe Verdi Librettist: Francesco Maria Piave, after Ángel de Saavedra's Don Álvaro o la fuerza del sino (1835) First performed: Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre, St. Petersburg, Russia, 10 November 1862. Revised version: La Scala, Milan, 27 February 1869. Dossier. STORY IL MARCHESE DI CALATRAVA (bass) Donna LEONORA, his daughter (soprano) DON … Continue reading 22. La forza del destino (Giuseppe Verdi)

18. Sadko (Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov)

SADKO           (Садко) Opera-bylina in 7 tableaux By Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov Libretto: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, with the assistance of Vladimir Stasov, Vasily Yastrebtsev, Nikolai Shtrup, Nikolai Findeyzen, and Vladimir Belsky Compiled from the bylina Sadko, the Rich Trader, the Tale of the Sea King and the Wise Vasilisa, The Book of the Dove and other ancient ballads and … Continue reading 18. Sadko (Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov)