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)

92. Ba-ta-clan (Jacques Offenbach)

BA-TA-CLAN Chinoiserie musicale in 1 act Composer: Jacques Offenbach Libretto: Ludovic Halévy First performed: Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris, 29 December 1855 Hurrah for Jacques Offenbach! Offenbach was one of very few clever, witty composers: a parodist who delighted in turning things on their head, putting familiar elements in strange contexts (and vice versa), toppling sacred cows, … Continue reading 92. Ba-ta-clan (Jacques Offenbach)

91. Le Jongleur de Notre-Dame (Jules Massenet)

LE JONGLEUR DE NOTRE-DAME Miracle in 3 acts Composer: Jules Massenet Libretto: Maurice Léna, after a tale by Anatole France, inspired by a mediaeval legend First performance: Théâtre de Monte-Carlo, 18 February 1902 Massenet, ‘le musicien de la femme et de l’amour’, as Schneider called him, composed an opera without either — except, the composer said, the most … Continue reading 91. Le Jongleur de Notre-Dame (Jules Massenet)

88. Le tribut de Zamora (Charles Gounod)

Opéra in 4 acts. Composer: Charles Gounod Libretto : Adolphe d’Ennery & Jules Brésil. First performance : Théâtre de l’Opéra (Palais Garnier), 1 April 1881.  Remounted at the Opéra: 13 March 1885 (48th performance) – 50th & final performance 25 March 1885. It's been nearly a month since I last posted, my mate Phil tells me. Today, … Continue reading 88. Le tribut de Zamora (Charles Gounod)

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)