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  • Le comte Ory: opéra en deux actesby Gioachino Rossini
  • Kimberly White
Gioachino Rossini. Le comte Ory: Opéra en deux actes= Opera in two acts = Opera in due atti. Livret d’ = Libretto by Eugène Scribe. Édité d’ = Edited by = A cura di Damien Colas. Part 1: Introductory Materials and Act 1. ( Works of Gioachino Rossini, 5a.) Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2014. [Editorial policy in Fre., Eng., Ita., p. viii–xi; abbrevs. in Fre., Eng., Ita., p. xii; principal sources in Fre., Eng., Ita., p. xiii; pref. in Fre., Eng., Ita., p. xiv–cxiii; facsims., p. cxv–cxxi; orchestra & characters, p. cxxiii; libretto, p. cxxiv–cxlvi; score, p. 3–380. Cloth. ISMN: 979-0-006-55216-0, pub. no. BA 10508-01. i992 inclusive of vols. 5a and 5b.]
Gioachino Rossini. Le comte Ory: Opéra en deux actes= Opera in two acts = Opera in due atti. Livret d’ = Libretto by Eugène Scribe. Édité d’ = Edited by = A cura di Damien Colas. Part 2: Act 2 and appendices. (Works of Gioachino Rossini, 5b.) Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2014. [Score, p. 381–697; appendices, p. 701–822. Cloth. ISMN: 979-0-006-55216-0, pub. no. BA 10508-01. i992 inclusive of vols. 5a and 5b.]
Gioachino Rossini. Le comte Ory. Critical commentary by Damien Colas. ( Works of Gioachino Rossini, 5.) Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2014. [Abbrevs., p. 7; principal sources, p. 8–9; sources, p. 10–27; critical notes, p. 31–359. ISMN 979-0-006-55217-7, pub. no. BA 10508-40. i328.]

Le comte Ory, Rossini’s second most successful French opera, had an impressive performance record in the nineteenth century, with over 430 performances in Paris alone. Premiered on 20 August 1828 at the Académie royale de musique (the Paris Opéra), Le comte Orywas Rossini’s third opera in French and the last of a small series of revised and updated works produced for the Opéra that were based at least in part on an earlier Italian opera. In the last few years of the Bourbon Restoration, the Opéra took advantage of its joint administration with the Théâtre Italien, a lyric theater devoted exclusively to Italian opera, to commission several works from Rossini: he reworked Maometto IIas Le siège de Corinthe(1826), and Mosè in Egittoas Moïse et Pharaon(1827). Although the joint administration was dissolved in 1827, Rossini remained under contract to produce two more French works for the Opéra. The second of these would be Guillaume Tell, Rossini’s only entirely original (and his most successful) French opera, eventually premiered in 1829. For Le comte Ory, however, Rossini turned once again to an earlier Italian composition: Il viaggio a Reims, a one-act dramma giocosohe had composed for the coronation of Charles X in 1825, and which, due to its occasional nature, had a very limited performance run at the Théâtre Italien. As early as 1826, Rossini had considered recycling the material from Il viaggiofor an Italian semiseriaopera on a libretto entitled La figlia dell’ariaby Luigi Balocchi, but the project was abandoned. Sometime in the early months of 1828, Rossini returned to the project, only this time in collaboration with Eugène Scribe, who had already branched out from vaudeville with several librettos for the Opéra [End Page 610]Comique, and had just made his début on the Opéra’s stage with La muette de Porticiin February 1828. Scribe also drew on an older work for the libretto: he revised and expanded a one-act comédie-vaudevillecowritten with Charles-Gaspard Delestre-Poirson, Le comte Ory: Anecdote du XIe siècle, first presented at the Théâtre du Vaudeville in 1816.

The initial phase of the c omte Oryproject, particularly regarding the relationship between Scribe and Rossini, remains frustratingly opaque due to an absence of correspondence; but two preparatory sketches of the libretto in Scribe’s hand provide a sense of the complex task involved in merging the two works, particularly with regard to the distribution of the musical numbers from Il viaggioin the expanded plot (see pp. lxi...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-150X
Print ISSN
0027-4380
Pages
pp. 610-615
Launched on MUSE
2016-02-10
Open Access
No
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