134. Dardanus (Rameau)

Tragédie lyrique in 5 actsComposer: Jean-Philippe RameauLibretto: Charles Antoine Le Clerc de la BruèreFirst performed : Académie royale de musique, Paris, 19 November 1739 (revised 23 April 1744) The tragédie lyrique, with its emphasis on text and ballet, bewildered foreigners: Burney considered the form “displeasing to all ears but those of France, which had been nursed … Continue reading 134. Dardanus (Rameau)

130. Les Indes galantes (Rameau)

Opéra-ballet in a prologue and 4 entréesComposer : Jean-Philippe RameauLibretto : Louis FuzelierFirst performed : Académie royale de musique, Paris, 23 August 1735 "La terre, les cieux, et les mers / nous offrent tour-à-tour cent spectacles divers." Les Indes galantes offers plenty of spectacle : it's an all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza, a round-the-world trip full of ceremonies, storms, shipwrecks, … Continue reading 130. Les Indes galantes (Rameau)

129. Castor et Pollux (Rameau)

Tragédie en musique in 5 actsComposer: Jean-Philippe RameauLibretto: Gentil-BernardFirst performed: Académie royale de musique (1re salle du Palais-Royal), 24 October 1737 ; revised 1754 Of all Rameau's operas, Claude Debussy most admired Castor et Pollux, and, on his deathbed, he regretted he was unable to attend a performance. Since 1903, Debussy had held up Rameau (and … Continue reading 129. Castor et Pollux (Rameau)

122. Le dilettante d’Avignon (Halévy)

LE DILETTANTE D'AVIGNON Opéra-comique in 1 act Composer: Fromental Halévy Libretto: François-Benoît Hoffman finished by Léon Halévy First performed: l’Opéra-Comique (salle Ventadour) 07 November 1829 This early Halévy rarity was released on Friday; “un chef-d'oeuvre inconnu”, as the Avignonnais dilettante remarks. One associates Halévy more with anathemas, anti-Semitism, boiling oil, and kings mad or poisoned … Continue reading 122. Le dilettante d’Avignon (Halévy)

117. Tancrède (Campra)

Tragédie lyrique in a prologue and 5 acts Composer: André Campra Libretto: Antoine Danchet, after Tasso First performed: Théâtre du Palais-Royal, Paris, 7 November 1702, conducted by Marin Marais Welcome to the 18th century! Campra was the leading opera composer between Lully and Rameau.  A Provençal, he began as a church musician, rising to become … Continue reading 117. Tancrède (Campra)

116. Médée (Charpentier)

Tragédie lyrique in a prologue and 5 acts Composer : Marc-Antoine Charpentier Libretto : Thomas Corneille First performed : Académie royale de musique, Paris, 4 December 1693 Lully was dead – and with him his monopoly over opera. https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x44fg5c For more than a decade, only he had been able to compose opera in France. He defined the tragédie … Continue reading 116. Médée (Charpentier)

115. Armide (Lully)

ARMIDE Tragédie lyrique in prologue and 5 actsComposer : Jean-Baptiste LullyLibretto : Philippe QuinaultFirst performed : Académie royale de musique, théâtre du Palais-Royal, Paris, 15 February 1686 Armide, Lully and Quinault’s final tragédie lyrique, is generally considered their masterpiece.  The critics, for once, are right.  If you listen to only one Lully, listen to this. We’ve been rather … Continue reading 115. Armide (Lully)