Talk:Opéra-Comique

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Massenet premieres[edit]

Thank you (Robert Allen) for a good tidying up in the 19th century section. However there seems to be a mistake over Le Cid - it was first seen at the Opera. I will correct that page and add Werther instead which is a good example of the OC pioneering new works premiered elsewhere.Cg2p0B0u8m (talk) 22:18, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

You're being kind. I must have been tired when I was working on that page. Thanks for catching the error and making the correction. --Robert.Allen (talk) 01:32, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Notable premiere list[edit]

On the question of premieres at the Opera Comique, I wonder what the criteria are for inclusion ? Is it the number of performances over a period of time, that it is still performed, significance for the output of the composer or the genre, or some other reason. I find one or two on the current list somewhat un-notable, but think most of the following could be on for at least one of the reasons above: Les Rendez-Vous Bourgeois, Haydée, Le chalet, Les Noces de Jeanette, Le pardon de Ploërmel, L'heure espagnole, Le pauvre matelot, Ariane et Barbe-bleue, La basoche/Fortunio, Grisélidis, Barkouf/Robinson Crusoe/Vert-Vert, Les mamelles de Tirésias, Mârouf. Cg2p0B0u8m (talk) 22:54, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

Of course everyone would come up with a different list. Just because I added a few more is not to say that others should not also be there. The list from 1830 to 1902 is identical to the list of notable premiers in Alicia Levin's article in Fauser & Everist's book, which covers 1830–1914, except for Le domino noir which I just added, and La marquise de Brinvilliers, which was added when that article was created. (I used Levin's list to get the table started, and have only now gotten back to expanding it.) For the earlier ones I picked a start date of 1762 which is the date which Wild & Charlton used for the start of the company. I thought it might be a good idea to include a few (1-3) significant works for the composers who seemed to be associated with the theatre for the period from 1762 to 1830: Duni, Monsigny, Philidor, and Grétry are mentioned in the New Grove Dictionary of Opera article on Paris for the period 1762 to 1789, and Berton, Dalayrac, Grétry, Kreutzer, Boieldieu, Isouard, and Méhul for the period from 1789 to 1830. I did not research Duni yet, but for Monsigny, Loewenberg says Le déserteur was his most famous work. Loewenberg calls Philidor's Tom Jones his chef d'oeuvre. For Grétry there is really a lot to chose from. I picked three that struck my eye: Le Huron was his first major success (Loewenberg); Zémire et Azor ("one of his most successful works" according to Loewenberg) and Richard Coeur-de-lion (his most popular according to Loewenberg), and the last two each have their own article in New Grove Opera. For Kreutzer I was at a loss, he seems to be mostly forgotten. For Méhul, Stratonice was Cherubini's favorite of all his operas; Ariodant is highly regarded by Bartlet, and Loewenberg says Joseph is his chief work. According to New Grove Isouard's Cendrillon was an "unprecedented success" (until superseded by Rossini's opera) and was selected by Adam for reorchestration in 1845; for Boieldieu La dame blanche is again his chief work (Loewenberg). I haven't even considered after 1902 yet. I hope that helps explain my "method" of choosing. I certainly agree that Le pardon de Ploërmel needs to be there (I don't know why Levin omitted it), and Ravel's works really need to be on the list, and the Dukas. The others I'm not familiar with. Please add any you think should be there. --Robert.Allen (talk) 00:30, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

I see I missed an explanation for Dalayrac's operas. With hindsight, I can say that The New Penguin Opera Guide includes both Nina and Les deux petits Savoyards: the first "had no dramatic precedent" in French opera, the second was "exceedingly popular". Also I seem to have skipped over Berton altogether. --Robert.Allen (talk) 01:22, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

I think the list is good and the choices are intelligent. I agree with Cg2's suggested additions, although I think Auber's Fra Diavolo is more essential than Haydée. Duni's most famous work Le peintre amoureux de son modèle dates from 1757, so it's just a bit too early. You should probably add Lesueur's La caverne. I'll look up Kreutzer and see what I can do. --Folantin (talk) 17:30, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
I wanted to clarify that the only reason I picked the number 1-3 was so I could get to bed at a decent hour. I didn't mean to propose that there should be any arbitrary limits, if one composer had a greater number of notable works. Also, I think the 1762 date was for similar reasons (I had to set some limits for myself or would have been up all night), and it was used by the book I happened to be consulting at the time. We could certainly add Le peintre amoureux de son modèle. --Robert.Allen (talk) 21:10, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Lesueur's La caverne was first performed at the Théâtre Feydeau. A similar list could added to that article. --Robert.Allen (talk) 09:04, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Oops, yes, my mistake. I'll think about revising the Feydeau list. At the moment it seems to be all Cherubini. --Folantin (talk) 12:51, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

I think I have added most everything, except Offenbach's Barkouf and Vert-Vert, for which I did not see articles in either The New Penguin Guide, New Grove Opera or Wikipedia. If I missed something, please add to the list. And thanks for all the suggestions. --Robert.Allen (talk) 11:23, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Thank you very much for your detailed response and for adding so many to the list. I did not intend to make work for someone else – it is really the question of notability for this article which interested me. The list could get extremely long, based on the current small selection. For what it’s worth I am not familiar enough with the late 18th century period, but personally feel that La marquise de Brinvilliers is an interesting curiosity but not notable and would also let go of Le songe d'une nuit d'été and Jean de Nivelle, not to mention Julien (from this list). Cg2p0B0u8m (talk) 23:40, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

I have no objection to removing La marquise de Brinvilliers or Julien. The latter has apparently only received two productions. Jean de Nivelle also seems to be rather obscure. I guess I added it because there is a Wikipedia article, which is obviously not enough to keep it here. I'm more ambivalent about Le songe d'une nuit d'été. This is an opéra comique that was selected as notable by Alicia Levin, and according to Loewenberg, it was very successful in France. It has also received numerous productions outside of France, including Liège, Brussels, New Orleans, Frankfurt, New York, Vienna, Berlin, Geneva, Buenos Aires, Barcelona, Lisbon, Mexico, Padua, and Glasgow. It was revived for the opening of the Chunnel, and there is a DVD. In the Kobbé (1919) article on Verdi's Falstaff there is a quote describing the first act as "a masterpiece of pure comedy in music." --Robert.Allen (talk) 06:26, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

premiere table links[edit]

Thanks for pointing out the table list linking rule – most of the ‘List of operas by X’ articles don’t do this, so I assumed (wrongly)... Cg2p0B0u8m (talk) 22:20, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

No problem, and I apologize for the "undo" of your edits. This usually feels rude, but it was the simplest method to restore the links. I've often thought of adding more links to the "List of operas by ..." tables, but it's a lot of work for a small gain, so I have just let it go. Apparently linking every instance is OK in any table, but I feel it is more important in a sortable table, since the order of the rows can change. (My edit summary was not very well expressed, but once executed, it obviously can't be altered.) --Robert.Allen (talk) 09:18, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

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