Le comte Ory is a comic opera written by Gioachino Rossini in Some of the music originates from his opera Il viaggio a Reims written three years earlier for the coronation of Charles X. The work is ostensibly a comic opera in that the story is humorous, even farcical. The work receives numerous productions at opera houses around the world. The lords and men of Formoutiers have been away on a crusade. Hoping to win her hand, he disguises himself as a hermit, aided by Raimbaud, his friend.
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By Gioachino Rossini. The story is set in Touraine, outside the castle of the counts of Formoutiers, during the Crusades, around the year What better way to start our journey into the world of opera than with Rossini?
Rossini and Mozart were the first opera composers I fell in love with, five years before opera became an all-consuming passion. His music is life enhancing; its infectious gaiety makes you want to stand up and cheer for the sheer joy of being alive.
It influenced Auber, Adam and Offenbach, the masters of lighter French opera. The canny Rossini then used six pieces from Il viaggio for Ory. The tenor is, unusually, the antagonist in both operas. Ory is, like Don Giovanni, a creature of pure animal appetite and impulse. He wants to seduce as many women as he can, and get drunk. Whoever lets them break without having enjoyed them is a complete fool.
She lives in a castle as tightly secured as a chastity belt, and has repressed her feelings to the point of neurosis. Yes, she agrees, in a burst of coloratura — and declares her feelings for Isolier.
The Comte is never sincere; he spends nearly all the play disguised, and the only time he is himself is when he is unmasked. Is he sincere? The character is sincere, a clever, high-spirited, affectionate youth, but the singer playing him is only her sex when the character is disguised.
You can find the vaudeville here. In the original ballad, the Count and his companions assail a convent, disguised as nuns — and seduce the abbess and her sisters. Neuf mois ensuite, vers le mois de janvier,. Que chaque nonne eut un petit chevalier. Obviously a play in which an entire convent is deflowered would never do as family entertainment.
It flirts with immorality without consummating it. The Comte wants to seduce the Comtesse, but the Comtesse resists his blandishments; the audience wants to see both the seduction at least the attempt , and her resistance. They raid the cellars and carouse, breaking off to sing hymns whenever their hosts go by. After making love to his twice-transvestite page, he creeps out through a back passage, in disgrace and his libido dampened, while Isolier claims the girl.
Besides, a woman playing a boy disguised as a woman, made love to by a man who mistakes her for a woman, and who pairs off with another woman? The young and dissolute Comte Ory, accompanied by his faithful Raimbaud, has disguised himself as a hermit to console the lonely maidens. Her duenna, Dame Ragonde, announces her imminent visit to the Comte. The Comte appears and blesses his flock, then listens to their desires. The Gouverneur has had enough of his tiresome office.
Isolier is all a tremble to learn that the Countess is coming, because he has a crush on her. He decides to consult the hermit.
The hermit releases the Comtesse from her vows of eternal solitude, which she welcomes with delight. Furious, the Comte decides to mount his attack the next night.
One of them comes to present her homages to the Comtesse. The pilgrimesses are, in reality, his disguised companions. Isolier announces to the Comtesse and her friends that the crusaders will soon arrive. He must prevent at all costs the husbands from learning they were there. Disguised as a woman, Isolier responds to his advances, all the while seizing the opportunity to declare his love to the Comtesse. No longer able to contain himself, the Comte drops his disguise and showers the page with tender kisses.
The Comte and his companions flee through a secret passage. To watch: The Glyndebourne recording on YouTube. Bordogni, Pellegrini et Levasseur. Bordogni, Pellegrini and Levasseur. All the rest of this work offers delightful melodies. Adolphe Nourrit, Mme Damoreau and Levasseur were the most applauded interpreters of this rich score. This opera contains very few feeble, or at least criticable, passages, especially compared to the multitude of charming pieces.
It can only be a joke on the part of the author who, on the day that he wrote it, laughed a little at his art and his public. Apart from this momentary caprice, the rest of the work was obviously composed with love.
Everywhere there is a luxury of happy melodies, new designs, accompaniments, sought-after harmonies, piquant orchestral effects, and dramatic intentions as full of reason as wit. Since the harum-scarum young man has covered his head with a black hood and his chin with a long grey beard, because he pretends to walk heavily, in the broken gait of an old hermit, he should also, it seems to me, disguise his voice and his style of singing. In any case, the musician should have watched his work, and not allowed him to take such liberties.
But what compensations for these blotches! What musical riches in these two acts! These form a collection of diverse beauties which, adroitly distributed, would suffice for the success of two or three operas.
O the stupid, insipid formula! When shall we be delivered from it? Many people laugh at it; I do too, sometimes; but in that case I must be in a good mood. View all posts by nickfuller. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account.
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1. Le comte Ory (Gioachino Rossini)
By Gioachino Rossini. The story is set in Touraine, outside the castle of the counts of Formoutiers, during the Crusades, around the year What better way to start our journey into the world of opera than with Rossini? Rossini and Mozart were the first opera composers I fell in love with, five years before opera became an all-consuming passion. His music is life enhancing; its infectious gaiety makes you want to stand up and cheer for the sheer joy of being alive.
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