La muette de Portici


La muette de Portici

"La muette de Portici" ("The mute girl of Portici") originally entitled "Masaniello, ou La muette de Portici", is an opera in five acts by Daniel Auber, with a libretto by Germain Delavigne, revised by Eugène Scribe. The work has an important place in musical history, as it is generally regarded as the earliest French grand opera.

Performance history

It was first given at the Théâtre de l'Académie Royale de Musique on 29th February 1828. [http://www.grovemusic.com Herbert Schneider: "La Muette de Portici"] "Grove Music Online", accessed April 10, 2007.] The role of Masaniello was taken by the famous tenor Adolphe Nourrit and Princess Elvire was sung by Laure Cinti-Damoreau. The dancer Laure Noblet played the mute title role, a part later taken by actresses such as Fanny Taglioni and Harriet Smithson (the future wife of Hector Berlioz). The conductor at the premiere was François Antoine Habeneck. [Parouty]

At a performance of this opera at the Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels on the 25 August 1830, a riot broke out that became the signal for the "Belgian Revolution" which led to Belgian independence. [Viking]

Roles

ynopsis

The opera is loosely based on the historical uprising of Masaniello against Spanish rule in Naples in 1647. As the opera opens, Princess Elvire is due to marry Alphonse, the son of the Spanish viceroy. However, the mute girl Fenella denounces him as her seducer and kidnapper. Fenella's treatment provokes her brother, the fisherman Masaniello, to lead his friends in revolt against the Spanish occupation. Elvire forgives Alphonse but tries to find Fenella. As the revolution slips from Masaniello's control, Alphonse and Elvire seek refuge in the fisherman's hut and he risks the fury of his rebel friend Pietro to protect them. Pietro sees Masaniello as a traitor and potential tyrant and vows to bring him down. He poisons Masaniello, who manages to save Elvire even as he is dying. Alphonse marches against the rebels with a Spanish army and rescues Elivire. At the end of the opera, Mount Vesuvius erupts and Fenella throws herself into the lava in despair.

Influence

"La muette de Portici" played a major role in establishing the genre of grand opera. Many of its elements - the five-act structure, the obligatory ballet sequence, the use of spectacular stage effects, the focus on romantic passions against a background of historical troubles - would become the standard features of the form for the rest of the 19th century. Grand opera would play a far more important role in the subsequent career of the librettist than that of the composer. Auber went on to write three more works in the genre: "Le dieu et la bayadère" (1830), "Gustave III" (1833) and "Le lac des fées" (1839). But their fame would be eclipsed by the grand operas for which Scribe provided the libretti: Meyerbeer's "Robert le Diable" (1831) and "Les Huguenots" (1836) and Fromental Halévy's "La Juive" (1835). Nevertheless, Auber's pioneering work caught the attention of the young Richard Wagner, who was eager to create a new form of music drama. He noted that in "La muette", "arias and duets in the wonted sense were scarcely to be detected any more, and certainly, with the exception of a single prima-donna aria in the first act, did not strike one at all as such; in each instance it was the ensemble of the whole act that riveted attention and carried one away...". [Viking; "Oxford Illustrated" pp. 143-145]

elected recordings

* "La muette de Portici" June Anderson, Alfredo Kraus, John Aler, Ensemble Choral Jean Laforge, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, conducted by Thomas Fulton (EMI, 1987)

References

ources

* [http://www.amadeusonline.net/almanacco.php?Start=0&Giorno=29&Mese=02&Anno=1828&Giornata=&Testo=&Parola=Stringa Amadeus Almanac]
*"Muette de Portici, La" by Herbert Schneider, in 'The New Grove Dictionary of Opera', ed. Stanley Sadie (London, 1992) ISBN 0-333-73432-7
*"The Oxford Dictionary of Opera", by John Warrack and Ewan West (1992), 782 pages, ISBN 0-19-869164-5
*Booklet notes to the Fulton recording by Michel Parouty
*"The Oxford Illustrated History of Opera" ed. Roger Parker (OUP, 1994)
*"The Viking Opera Guide" ed. Holden (1993)


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  • Muette de Portici — La Muette de Portici La Muette de Portici est un opéra de Daniel François Esprit Auber, sur un livret de Scribe et Delavigne, créé le 28 février 1828, à l Opéra de Paris (salle Le Peletier). L œuvre eut un rôle majeur dans l émergence… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • La Muette de Portici — Werkdaten Titel: Die Stumme von Portici Originaltitel: La muette de Portici Originalsprache: französisch Libretto: Eugène Scribe und Germain Delavigne …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • La Muette de Portici — est un opéra de Daniel François Esprit Auber, sur un livret de Scribe et Delavigne, créé le 29 février 1828, à l Opéra de Paris (salle Le Peletier), où il connut un succès très important avec plus de cent représentations la première… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • La Muette De Portici — est un opéra de Daniel François Esprit Auber, sur un livret de Scribe et Delavigne, créé le 28 février 1828, à l Opéra de Paris (salle Le Peletier). L œuvre eut un rôle majeur dans l émergence du Grand opéra. Elle fut jouée 505 fois à… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • La muette de portici — est un opéra de Daniel François Esprit Auber, sur un livret de Scribe et Delavigne, créé le 28 février 1828, à l Opéra de Paris (salle Le Peletier). L œuvre eut un rôle majeur dans l émergence du Grand opéra. Elle fut jouée 505 fois à… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • La muette de Portici — (Die Stumme von Portici) ist eine große historische Oper in 5 Akten von Daniel François Esprit Auber. Das Libretto stammt von Eugène Scribe. Spielzeit etwa 2,5 Stunden. Handlungsorte sind Neapel und Portici im Sommer 1647. Handlung Die Handlung… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • La Muette de Portici (Auber) — La Muette de Portici La Muette de Portici est un opéra de Daniel François Esprit Auber, sur un livret de Scribe et Delavigne, créé le 28 février 1828, à l Opéra de Paris (salle Le Peletier). L œuvre eut un rôle majeur dans l émergence… …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • Portici — Administration Pays  Italie Région …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Masaniello, o La muda de Portici — La muda de Portici La Muette de Portici Decorado para La muette de Portici, 1893. Forma grand opéra Actos y escenas 3 act …   Wikipedia Español


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