The Paris Opera: An Encyclopedia of Operas, Ballets, Composers, and Performers Growth and Grandeur, 1815-1914 - Vol. 2

By Spire Pitou | Go to book overview

Z

Zaïre was an opera in two acts based upon the tale of the same name by Voltaire with a libretto by Edouard Blau* and Louis Besson. Paul Veronge de la Nux composed the score for it, and its sets were designed by Lavastre and Carpézat (a. 1) and by Amable and Gardy (a. 2). Charles Bianchini created the costumes for its world premiere at the Garnier Palace* on 28 May 1898.

The opera takes place in Jerusalem after the Second Crusade at the end of the twelfth century. Fatime is dismayed by the sultan's love for Zaïre, and Zaïre is overjoyed by his triumphant return to Jerusalem. Jealous Fatime reminds Zaïre that she was wearing a cross around her neck when she was found as a child; Zaïre counters that if she is a prisoner, she finds her prison pleasant. She adds that she has forgotten about the possibility of being rescued by Nérestan. Fatime realizes that Zaïre is about to replace her as the sultan's favorite ( I, 1-2), and Orosmane appears and dismisses Fatime before declaring his love to Zaïre. He agrees to abolish his harem and to take her as his wife, and she accepts his proposal of marriage ( I, 3).

Nérestan returns to the sultan's palace after is trip to France. He has the ransom for ten Christians, but Orosmane agrees to give him 100 captives for his money, although Zaïre and Nérestan's father, Lusignan, are to be excluded from this pact ( I, 4). Né?restan expresses his disappointment, and the freed captives are indignant to learn that their leader, Lusignan, is still a prisoner ( I, 5-6), but Zaïre enters to

-1409-

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The Paris Opera: An Encyclopedia of Operas, Ballets, Composers, and Performers Growth and Grandeur, 1815-1914 - Vol. 2
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Abbreviations xiii
  • M 790
  • N 916
  • O 955
  • P 990
  • Q 1080
  • R 1081
  • S 1171
  • T 1286
  • V 1338
  • W 1386
  • X 1404
  • Y 1406
  • Z 1409
  • Appendix: The Repertory, 1815-1914 1422
  • Index 1467
  • About the Author 1555
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