71. Atys (Jean-Baptiste Lully)

Tragédie in 5 acts and a prologue Composer: Jean-Baptiste de Lully Librettist: Philippe Quinault First performed: Saint-Germain, before Louis XIV, 10 January 1676; Paris, August 1677 Dossier BACKGROUND Atys was known as "l'opéra du Roy", the King's opera. It was first performed at Saint-Germain, before Louis XIV.  The king had it performed for him again in 1676, 1678, and … Continue reading 71. Atys (Jean-Baptiste Lully)

70. Cadmus et Hermione (Jean-Baptiste Lully)

CADMUS ET HERMIONE Tragédie in 5 acts and a prologue Composer: Jean-Baptiste de Lully Librettist: Philippe Quinault First performed: Paris, jeu de paume de Bel-Air, 27 April 1673 Dossier BACKGROUND The father of French opera was an Italian. The young Giovanni Battista Lulli accompanied Louis XIV’s cousin Anne-Marie-Louise d’Orléans, duchess of Montpensier, “the Grand Mademoiselle”, to France … Continue reading 70. Cadmus et Hermione (Jean-Baptiste Lully)

64. La reine de Chypre (Fromental Halévy)

Opéra in 5 acts By Fromental Halévy Libretto: Henri de Saint-Georges First performed: Théâtre de l’Opéra (salle Le Peletier), Paris, 22 December 1841, conducted by François-Antoine Habeneck Dossier The Palazzetto Bru Zane recently published the world première recording of an opera admired by Berlioz and Wagner: a tale of politics, thwarted love, and chivalry in the fifteenth century. … Continue reading 64. La reine de Chypre (Fromental Halévy)

62. Olympie (Gaspare Spontini)

OLYMPIE Tragédie lyrique en 3 actes Composer: Gaspare Spontini Libretto : MM. Michel Dieulafoy, Eugène Briffaut, after Voltaire’s play (1761) First performed : Théâtre de l’Opéra, Paris, 22 December 1819, conducted by Rudolphe Kreutzer.  Revised Berlin, May 1821. Dossier The failure of Spontini's opera about the death of Alexander the Great left the composer vowing never to … Continue reading 62. Olympie (Gaspare Spontini)

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)

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)