Iphigénie en Tauride (Desmarets and Campra)

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Iphigénie en Tauride (English: Iphigeneia in Tauris) is an opera by the French composers Henri Desmarets and André Campra. It takes the form of a tragédie en musique in a prologue and five acts. The libretto is by Joseph-François Duché de Vancy with additions by Antoine Danchet. Desmarets had begun work on the opera around 1696 but abandoned it when he was forced to go into exile in 1699. Campra and his regular librettist Danchet took up the piece and wrote the prologue, most of Act Five, two arias in Act One, an aria for Acts Two and Three, and two arias for the fourth act. The plot is ultimately based on Euripides' tragedy Iphigeneia in Tauris.

Performance history[edit]

Iphigénie was first performed by the Académie royale de musique at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal in Paris on 6 May 1704 with Françoise Journet as Iphigénie and Gabriel-Vincent Thévenard as Oreste. It was coolly received at first, but enjoyed several revivals in the 18th century, the last being in 1762.

Roles[edit]

Cover of the original libretto of Iphigenie en Tauride (1696)


Role Voice type Premiere cast, 6 May 1704
L'ordonnateur des jeux/L'Océan basse-taille (bass-baritone) Charles Hardouin
Diane dessus (soprano) Julie d'Aubigny, known as La Maupin[1]
An inhabitant of Délos haute-contre Antoine Boutelou
Iphigénie dessus Mlle Desmatins
Électre dessus Mlle Armand
Oreste basse-taille Gabriel-Vincent Thévenard
Pylade haute-contre M Poussin[2]
Triton haute-contre Pierre Chopelet
Thoas bass Jean Dun (père)
Isménide dessus Mlle Bataille
Le grand sacrificateur taille (baritenor) Louis Mantienne

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Mlle Maupin is commonly reported to have been the only major bas-dessus (mezzo-soprano/contralto) in the history of French opera in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; in the 1711 printed score, however, the part of Diane is notated in the soprano clef.
  2. ^ Poussin, who was going shortly to die before his time, had been engaged by the Académie Royale de Musique as a haute-taille (baritenor) (Le magazin de l'opéra baroque, page: Cassandre), but, in the 1711 printed score, the role of Pylade is notated in the alto clef, and, in the numerous revivals of this opera, it was to be always performed by the principal hautes-contre of the company
Sources