Tarare (opera)

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Tarare is an opéra (tragédie lyrique) composed by Antonio Salieri to a French libretto by Pierre Beaumarchais. It was first performed by the Paris Opera at the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin on 8 June 1787.[1] Salieri also reworked the material into an Italian version retitled Axur, re d'Ormus with libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte, which opened in Vienna in January 1788.


Cast Voice type[2] Premiere, 8 June 1787[3]
(Conductor: Jean-Baptiste Rey )
The genius that presides over the reproduction of creatures, or Nature soprano Mlle Joinville
The genius of fire, which presides over Sun, in love with Nature basse-taille (bass-baritone) Louis-Claude-Armand Chardin (stage name, "Chardini")
Atar,[4] King of Ormus, a wild and unrestrained man basse-taille (bass-baritone) Auguste-Athanase (Augustin) Chéron
Tarare,[4] a soldier in his service, honoured for his great virtues taille (baritenor) Étienne Lainez
Astasie,[4] Tarare's wife, both tender and pious soprano Marie Thérèse Maillard
Arthénée,[4] High Priest of Brahma, a misbeliever devoured by pride and ambition basse-taille (bass-baritone) Martin-Joseph Adrien
Altamort,[4] an army general, son of the High Priest, a reckless and fiery youth basse-taille (bass-baritone) M Châteaufort
Urson, captain of Atar's guard, a valiant man of great honor basse-taille (bass-baritone) M Moreau
Calpigi,[4] chief of the Eunuchs, a European slave and a former singer emerged from the Chapels of Italy, being sensitive and gay haute-contre J. Rousseau
Spinette,[4] a European slave woman, Calpigi's wife and a former Neapolitan cantatrice, being meddlesome and coquettish soprano Adelaïde Gavaudan, "cadette"
Elamir, a boy of the Augurs, being naive and very devout boy soprano Joseph-François-Narcisse Carbonel[5]
A priest of Brahma basse-taille (bass-baritone) M Le Roux "cadet" (the younger)[6]
A slave basse-taille (bass-baritone) M Le Roux "cadet" (the younger)
A eunuch basse-taille (bass-baritone) M Le Roux "cadet" (the younger)
A shepherdess/A shadow (prologue) soprano Anne-Marie-Jeanne Gavaudan "l'aînée"
A peasant basse-taille (bass-baritone) M Dessaules


  1. ^ Amadeus Almanac, accessed March 18, 2010.
  2. ^ "Tarare di Salieri" at italianOPERA.org, accessed June 10, 2010.
  3. ^ According to the original libretto.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g This character also appears in the prologue in the form of his/her own shadow.
  5. ^ Carbonel, a singing student of the Paris Opera, was fourteen when he took part in the premiere of Tarare (Alexandre Choron & François Fayolle (editors), Dictionnaire Historique des Musiciens, Paris: Valade/Lenormant, 1810, I, p. 118, accessible for free online at Internet Archives).
  6. ^ Le Roux was a member of the Choir included among the tailles (bari-tenors) (cf. composition of the Choirs reported in the original libretto).
  • Original libretto: Tarare, Opéra en cinq actes, avec un prologue; Représenté, pour la première fois, sur le Théâtre de l'Académie Royale de Musique, le vendredi 8 Juin 1787, Paris: Delormel, 1787 (accessible for free online at books.google)
  • Georges d'Heylli & Fernand de Marescot (editors), Théâtre complet de Beaumarchais. Réimpression des éd. princeps, avec les variantes des ms originaux ..., Paris: Académie des bibliophiles, 1869-1871, IV, pp. 1–171 (accessible for free online at Gallica, Bibliothèque Nationale de France)
  • Francesco Blanchetti, Tarare, in Piero Gelli and Filippo Poletti (editors), Dizionario dell'opera 2008, Milan, Baldini Castoldi Dalai, 2007, pp. 1259-1260, ISBN 978-88-6073-184-5 (reproduced online at Opera Manager)

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