Academic journal article Notes

Gioachino Rossini

Academic journal article Notes

Gioachino Rossini

Article excerpt

Gioachino Rossini. Le comte Ory: Opera en deux actes = Opera in two acts = Opera in due atti. Livret d' = Libretto by Eugene Scribe. Edite d' = Edited by = A cura di Damien Colas. Part 1: Introductory Materials and Act 1. (Works of Gioachino Rossini, 5a.) Kassel: Barenreiter, 2014. [Editorial policy in Fre., Eng., Ita., p. viii-xi; abbrevs. in Fre., Eng., Ita., p. xii; principal sources in Fre., Eng., Ita., p. xiii; pref. in Fre., Eng., Ita., p. xiv-cxiii; facsims., p. cxv-cxxi; orchestra & characters, p. cxxiii; libretto, p. cxxiv-cxlvi; score, p. 3-380. Cloth. ISMN: 979-0-006-55216-0, pub. no. BA 10508-01. 992 [euro] inclusive of vols. 5a and 5b.]

Gioachino Rossini. Le comte Ory: Opera en deux actes = Opera in two acts = Opera in due atti. Livret d' = Libretto by Eugene Scribe. Edite d' = Edited by = A cura di Damien Colas. Part 2: Act 2 and appendices. (Works of Gioachino Rossini, 5b.) Kassel: Barenreiter, 2014. [Score, p. 381-697; appendices, p. 701-822. Cloth. ISMN: 979-0-006-55216-0, pub. no. BA 10508-01. 992 [euro] inclusive of vols. 5a and 5b.]

Gioachino Rossini. Le comte Ory. Critical commentary by Damien Colas. (Works of Gioachino Rossini, 5.) Kassel: Barenreiter, 2014. [Abbrevs., p. 7; principal sources, p. 8-9; sources, p. 10-27; critical notes, p. 31-359. ISMN 979-0-006-55217-7, pub. no. BA 10508-40. 328. [euro]]

Le comte Ory, Rossini's second most successful French opera, had an impressive performance record in the nineteenth century, with over 430 performances in Paris alone. Premiered on 20 August 1828 at the Academie royale de musique (the Paris Opera), Le comte Ory was Rossini's third opera in French and the last of a small series of revised and updated works produced for the Opera that were based at least in part on an earlier Italian opera. In the last few years of the Bourbon Restoration, the Opera took advantage of its joint administration with the Theatre Italien, a lyric theater devoted exclusively to Italian opera, to commission several works from Rossini: he reworked Maometto II as Le siege de Corinthe (1826), and Mose in Egitto as Moise et Pharaon (1827). Although the joint administration was dissolved in 1827, Rossini remained under contract to produce two more French works for the Opera. The second of these would be Guillaume Tell, Rossini's only entirely original (and his most successful) French opera, eventually premiered in 1829. For Le comte Ory, however, Rossini turned once again to an earlier Italian composition: II viaggio a Reims, a one-act dramma giocoso he had composed for the coronation of Charles X in 1825, and which, due to its occasional nature, had a very limited performance run at the Theatre Italien. As early as 1826, Rossini had considered recycling the material from II viaggio for an Italian semiseria opera on a libretto entitled La figlia dell'aria by Luigi Balocchi, but the project was abandoned. Sometime in the early months of 1828, Rossini returned to the project, only this time in collaboration with Eugene Scribe, who had already branched out from vaudeville with several librettos for the Opera Comique, and had just made his debut on the Opera's stage with La muetle de Portici in February 1828. Scribe also drew on an older work for the libretto: he revised and expanded a one-act comedie-vaudeville cowritten with Charles-Gaspard DelestrePoirson, Le comte Ory: Anecdote du XIe siecle, first presented at the Theatre du Vaudeville in 1816.

The initial phase of the comte Ory project, particularly regarding the relationship between Scribe and Rossini, remains frustratingly opaque due to an absence of correspondence; but two preparatory sketches of the libretto in Scribe's hand provide a sense of the complex task involved in merging the two works, particularly with regard to the distribution of the musical numbers from II viaggio in the expanded plot (see pp. lxi-lxiii [page references are to Patricia B. Brauner's English translation of Damien Colas's preface]). …

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