Les diamants de la couronne
Les diamants de la couronne (The Crown Diamonds) is an opéra comique by the French composer Daniel Auber, first performed by the Opéra-Comique at the second Salle Favart in Paris on 6 March 1841. The libretto (in three acts) is by Auber's regular collaborator, Eugène Scribe with the help of Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges.
Outside France it was first performed in Brussels on 25 November 1841, New Orleans on 31 March 1842, Munich on 15 July 1842 (in a German translation by V. A. Swoboda), Prague on 13 August 1842 (in German), Hamburg on 29 October 1842 (in German), Riga in 1843 (in German), Amsterdam in 1843 (in French), Berlin at the Hofoper on 11 February 1843 (in German), Copenhagen on 17 February 1843 (in a Danish translation by T. H. Reynoldson), New York on 14 July 1843 (in French at Niblo's Opéra français with Julie Calvé), London at Princess's Theatre on 2 May 1844 (in an English translation by T. H. Reynoldson) and later at Covent Garden on 11 June 1845 (in French) and Drury Lane on 16 April 1846 (in a new English translation by E. Fitzball, with additional music by H. B. Richards and J. H. Tully).
It was first performed in Stockholm on 17 September 1845 (in a Swedish translation by N. E. W. af Wetterstedt), Rio de Janeiro in September 1846 (in French), Lemberg in 1848 (in German), Vienna on 25 January 1849 (in German), Buenos Aires on 11 April 1852 (in French), Boston in 1854 (in the English version by Fitzball), San Francisco in 1854 (in the English version by Fitzball), Turin on 3 April 1858 (in French), Sydney in August 1863 (in the English version from the Drury Lane Theatre), Barcelona on 20 October 1866 (in French), Saint Petersburg on 15 January 1876 (in Italian), Lisbon on 26 April 1878 (in French), Naples at the Teatro Bellini on 30 April 1879 (in an Italian translation by M. M. Marcello, with recitatives by E. Gelli), in Mexico on 8 May 1879 (in French), Budapest in 1880 (in a Hungarian translation by K. Abrányi), and Malta in 1890 (in Italian).
A version of the same story was composed as a zarzuela in three acts by Francisco Asenjo Barbieri with its libretto by Francisco Camprodón taken from the original by Scribe and Saint-Georges, and first performed in 1854.
|Role||Voice type||Premiere Cast, 6 March 1841|
(Conductor: - )
|Don Henrique de Sandoval||tenor||Joseph-Antoine-Charles Couderc|
|Don Sébastien d'Aveyro||tenor||Toussaint-Eugène-Ernest Mocker|
|Comte de Campo Mayor||tenor||Achille Ricquier|
The plot concerns a Portuguese princess, Catarina, who intrigues with bandits after she is forced to sell the crown diamonds of the title.
- Les diamants de la couronne Ghyslaine Raphanel, Mylène Mornet, Christophe Einhorn, Orchestre de Picardie; Cori Spezzati, conducted by Edmon Colomer (Mandala, 2001)
- Loewenberg 1978, columns 814–815.
- Wild and Charlton 2005, p. 222.
- Lawrence 1988, p. 214.
- Salter, Lionel. Barbieri, Francisco Asenjo. In: The New Grove Dictionary of Opera. Macmillan, London and New York, 1997.
- Role names are listed in the catalog entry for the 1841 libretto at WorldCat (OCLC 81981919). The order of the roles and voice types are from the booklet accompanying the Mandala recording.
- The cast surnames are listed in the catalog entry for the 1841 libretto at WorldCat (OCLC 81981919). The full names for the singers are taken from their entries in Kutsch and Riemens 2003: Sophie Anne Thillon (p. 4696; includes role); Celestine Darcier (p. 1013; includes role); Joseph-Antoine-Charles Couderc (p. 929; includes role); François-Louis-Ferdinand Henry (pp. 2038–2039; includes role); Toussaint-Eugène-Ernest Mocker (p. 3165; includes performance, role not specified); Charles-Louis Sainte-Foy (pp. 4096–4097; includes performance, role not specified); and Louis Palianti (p. 3506; performance not mentioned, but he was a bass and sang minor roles at the Opéra-Comique from 1835 to at least 1872; no other singer with the surname Palianti is listed). The full name (and role) for Achille Ricquier is listed in the catalog entry of a notice documentaire at the website of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Amadeus Online lists Edmond-Jules Delaunay-Ricquier for the role of Don Sébastien. Apart from assigning a different role to the singer named Ricquier from that given in the library catalog listings cited above, Amadeus Online is not in agreement with Kutsch and Riemens 2003, pp. 1066–1067, who state that Delaunay-Ricquier did not join the Opéra-Comique until 1850 and do not refer to this premier in connection with this singer. Kutsch and Riemens also mention that several other singers around that time were also named Ricquier, and due to the absence of forenames in the historical documents it is difficult to determine who is meant in particular cases. Amadeus Online also differs from the library catalog listing(s) by assigning Toussaint-Eugène-Ernest Mocker to the role of Rebolledo; François-Louis Henri to the role of comte de Campo Mayor; Georges-Marie-Vincent Palianti to the role of Barbarigo; and Louis Palianti to the role of "majordome". The last role is not included in the WorldCat catalog listing or in the booklet accompanying the Mandala recording. It is possible that the libretto was printed in error, or that the information at WorldCat was entered incorrectly or is incomplete.
- Amadeus Almanac, accessed 27 October 2009
- Holden, Amanda, editor (1993). The Viking Opera Guide. London: Viking. ISBN 978-0-670-81292-9.
- Kutsch, K. J. and Riemens, Leo (2003). Großes Sängerlexikon (fourth edition, in German). Munich: K. G. Saur. ISBN 978-3-598-11598-1.
- Lawrence, Vera Brodsky (1988). Strong on Music: The New York Music Scene in the Days of George Templeton Strong, 1836–1875. Volume I: Resonances 1836–1850. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-504199-6.
- Loewenberg, Alfred (1978). Annals of Opera 1597–1940 (third edition, revised). Totowa, New Jersey: Rowman and Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-87471-851-5.
- Macdonald, Hugh (2001). "Daniel Auber" in Holden, Amanda, editor. The New Penguin Opera Guide, pp. 24–26. London: Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-14-051475-9.
- Wild, Nicole; Charlton, David (2005). Théâtre de l'Opéra-Comique Paris: répertoire 1762-1972. Sprimont, Belgium: Editions Mardaga. ISBN 978-2-87009-898-1.