Ariane is an opera in five acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Catulle Mendès after Greek mythology. It was first performed at the Palais Garnier in Paris on 31 October 1906, with Lucienne Bréval in the title role. Although not a proper sequel, as Ariane dies in both pieces, Massenet's opera, Bacchus is a companion to Ariane, containing a number of common characters and the same librettist. Ariane has never maintained popularity and belongs to Massenet's works that were considered outmoded for their date of composition; the piece did, inspire this quote from the great French composer Gabriel Fauré: "Ariane, a noble and moving work..." The opera was performed during Massenet's life-time was dropped from the repertoire, receiving only limited revivals in 1937 at the Paris Opéra. It has received performances in a new production at the Massenet Festival in Saint-Étienne on 9 November 2007, directed by Jean-Louis Pichon, conducted by Laurent Campellone; as one critic noted, it is one of the most Wagnerian of Massenet's operas.
The story is based on the mythology surrounding the sisters Ariane and Phèdre. The two sisters are both in love with Theseus; when Phèdre is killed by the toppled statue of Adonis, Ariane travels to the underworld to beg Perséphone for her sister's resurrection. Softened by Ariane's offering of roses, Perséphone Phèdre returns to earth. Theseus is made to choose among the sisters again and once more chooses Phèdre, abandoning Ariane on the banks of Naxos. Distraught, she is lured into the sea by the voices of the beckoning sirens. Notes Vocal score of Ariane at IMSLP
Georges-Eugène Marty was a French conductor and composer associated with both major opera houses in Paris. Showing musical talent early on, entering the Paris Conservatoire aged 12, he won the first prize for solfege there in 1875. Marty took the first prize for the Prix de Rome in 1882 with his cantata Edith. After his stay in Rome, he travelled to Sicily and Germany before returning to the French capital and gaining much experience as a chorus master, his compositions include Ballade d’hiver, Overture Balthasar, Matinée de printemps, Merlin enchanté, art songs and piano works. Le duc de Ferrare, a drame lyrique in three acts, was composed after his return from Rome but first performed only on 30 May 1899, he became the teacher of the vocal ensemble class at the Conservatoire in 1892, head of singing at the Opéra in 1893. Marty was involved in productions at Théâtre Lyrique including Samson et Dalila, of La jolie fille de Perth at the Eden Theatre. At the Opéra he participated in productions of Gwendoline, Tannhäuser and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.
When the Paris Opéra concerts were created he conducted modern orchestral works. He made his debut at the Opéra Comique was conducting Manon on 11 March 1900, his repertoire included Joseph and Les visitandines and the creation of Le follet and Phoebé. Marty was the conductor of the Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire from 12 June 1901 to 11 October 1908, directing a wide repertoire from Bach to contemporary composers and several local premieres. In 1906 he replaced Jules Danbé at the Casino de Vichy classical concerts, but although in otherwise good health, he died there from disease of the liver just as the 1908 season was finishing, his wife was a mezzo-soprano active on the concert platform. Works by or about Georges Marty at Internet Archive Free scores by Georges Marty at the International Music Score Library Project
Catulle Mendès was a French poet and man of letters. Of Portuguese Jewish extraction, Mendès was born in Bordeaux. After childhood and adolescence in Toulouse, he arrived in Paris in 1859 and became one of the proteges of the poet Théophile Gautier, he promptly attained notoriety with the publication in the La Revue fantaisiste of his Roman d'une nuit, for which he was condemned to a month's imprisonment and a fine of 500 francs. He was allied with Parnassianism from the beginning of the movement and displayed extraordinary metrical skill in his first volume of poems, Philoméla, his critics have noted that the elegant verse of his volumes is distinguished rather by dexterous imitation of different writers than by any marked originality. The versatility and fecundity of Mendès' talent is shown in his critical and dramatic writings, including several libretti, in his novels and short stories, his short stories continue the French tradition of the licentious conte. In 1866, Mendès married the younger daughter of his mentor Théophile.
They soon separated, in 1869 he began cohabiting with the composer Augusta Holmès with whom he had five children, including: Huguette Mendès Claudine Mendès Helyonne Mendès The couple parted in 1886, he married the poet Jeanne Nette, to be his last companion. Early on the morning of 8 February 1909, the body of Mendès was discovered in the railway tunnel of Saint Germain, he had left Paris by the midnight train on the 7th, it is supposed that, thinking he had arrived at the station, he had opened the door of his compartment while still in the tunnel, although some biographers have suggested suicide. His body was interred at the Montparnasse Cemetery. Philoméla Poésies, première série, which includes much of his earlier verse Soirs moroses, Contes épiques, Philoméla, etc.. Zo'har, a story of incest in which the woman is virile and the man is feeble Le Roi vierge in which he introduces Louis II of Bavaria and Richard Wagner L'Homme tout nu La Maison de la vielle Gog Bluebirds, Snuggly Books ISBN 9781943813254 Works by Catulle Mendès at Project Gutenberg Works by or about Catulle Mendès at Internet Archive Works by Catulle Mendès at LibriVox Wagnerian Discord Echoed, The New York Times, June 10, 1894 Web site in Spanish of Catulle Mendès
Alexandre Clément Léon Joseph Luigini was a French composer and conductor active in the opera house. As a composer, he is now remembered solely for his Ballet égyptien. Luigini was born in Lyon in 1850, his grandparents had moved to Lyon from Modena, when his grandfather took up the post of trumpeter with the orchestra of the Grand Théâtre. Alexandre Luigini was brought up with music, his father Joseph playing with, conducting, the orchestra of the Grand Théâtre, he was the nephew of César and Alexandre Luigini, both noted instrumentalists. His daughter was the harpist Caroline Luigini, his grandson is the poet Jean Tardieu. After studying at the Conservatoire in Paris where he gained a second prize for violin, Luigini returned to Lyon and from 1872 played as a violinist in the theatre orchestra, which he went on to lead, becoming conductor in 1877; as resident conductor he was expected to meet the compositional demands of the theatre, leading to a number of ballets and orchestral suites. In 1879 he was appointed professor of composition at the Conservatory of Lyon.
In 1897 he left Lyon to take up the conductorship of the Opéra-Comique in Paris, led a busy life until his sudden death there in 1906. At the Opéra-Comique he notably conducted the world premiere of Jules Massenet's Cendrillon on 24 May 1899; the other premieres he conducted were Aphrodite 1906, Enfant roi 1905, Le Juif polonais 1900, Miarka 1905, Muguette 1903, L'Ouragan 1901. He supervised revivals of Alceste, Fidelio, Le Roi d’Ys and The Flying Dutchman, among others. Paris premieres conducted by Luigini included Chérubin, Hélène, Le jongleur de Notre-Dame and the first staging of Marie-Madeleine; as a theatre conductor he followed the old practice of having his conductor’s stand directly against the prompt box. Luigini's Ballet égyptien is his best known work, gaining great popularity in the early 20th century as a concert suite, it gained prominence when it was included in the second act of Verdi's Aida for a performance in Lyon in 1886. His compositions reflect his stage-orchestra background, being light music for ballet and operas: Ange et démon, Le Rêve de Nicette, Les Caprices de Margot, Reine des fleurs, Fleurs et papillons, Les Écharpes, Le Meunier, Arlequin écolier, Faublas.
He composed a number of songs and works for string quartet and other chamber groups. Blondel. "Profiles de Compositeurs français I Alexandre Luigini". Le Monde Artiste. Paris, France: Imprimerie de la Cour d'appel: 323–27. Works by or about Alexandre Luigini at Internet Archive Free scores by Alexandre Luigini at the International Music Score Library Project
François Ruhlmann was a Belgian conductor. Born in Brussels, Ruhlmann was a pupil of Joseph Dupont in his native city; as a child he sang in the chorus at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, at 7 played the oboe in the orchestra. Ruhlmann's first conducting engagement was at the Théâtre des Arts in Rouen in 1892; this was followed by further work in Liège and Antwerp, before a return to the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in 1898. François Ruhlmann began his career at the Opéra-Comique, Paris on 6 September 1905 at the death of Alexandre Luigini became principal conductor in 1906. Although mobilised in 1914, he returned during the war to conduct. From 1911 he conducted at the theatre of the Casino of Aix-les-Bains, he championed works by Dukas, Fauré and Ravel at the Concerts Populaires in Brussels. In 1920 Ruhlmann tried to mediate in a dispute involving the musicians unions in Paris, although he sympathised with the players. In 1919 he moved to the Palais Garnier, where he remained until 1938, he conducted many operatic premieres: Les Pêcheurs de Saint Jean 1905 Les Armaillis 1906 Le roi aveugle 1906 Ariane et Barbe-bleue 1907 Le Chemineau 1907 La Habanéra 1908 The Snow maiden Paris premiere 1908 Chiquito 1909 On ne badine pas avec l'amour 1910 Bérénice 1911 L’Ancêtre Paris premiere 1911 L’heure espagnole 1911 Thérèse Paris premiere 1911 La sorcière 1912 La Lépreuse 1912 La vida breve Paris premiere 1913 Mârouf 1914 Lorenzaccio 1920 Esther, princesse d'Israël 1925He was long associated with Pathé, for which he made many recordings, including six complete operas after 1910, including Rigoletto on 28 sides.
He conducted the 1911 Pathé recording of Carmen. François Ruhlmann died in Paris at age 80
Conservatoire de Paris
The Conservatoire de Paris is a college of music and dance founded in 1795 associated with PSL Research University. It is situated in the avenue Jean Jaurès in the 19th arrondissement of France; the Conservatoire offers instruction in music and drama, drawing on the traditions of the "French School". In 1946 it was split in two, one part for acting and drama, known as the Conservatoire national supérieur d'art dramatique, the other for music and dance, known as the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris. Today the conservatories operate under the auspices of the Ministry of Communication. On 3 December 1783 Papillon de la Ferté, intendant of the Menus-Plaisirs du Roi, proposed that Niccolò Piccinni should be appointed director of a future École royale de chant; the school was instituted by a decree of 3 January 1784 and opened on 1 April with the composer François-Joseph Gossec as the provisional director. Piccinni did join the faculty as a professor of singing; the new school was located in buildings adjacent to the Hôtel des Menus-Plaisirs at the junction of the rue Bergère and the rue du Faubourg Poissonnière.
In June, a class in dramatic declamation was added, the name was modified to École royale de chant et de déclamation. In 1792, Bernard Sarrette created the École gratuite de la garde nationale, which in the following year became the Institut national de musique; the latter was installed in the facilities of the former Menus-Plaisirs on the rue Bergère and was responsible for the training of musicians for the National Guard bands, which were in great demand for the enormous, popular outdoor gatherings put on by the revolutionary government after the Reign of Terror. On 3 August 1795, the government combined the École royale with the Institut national de musique, creating the Conservatoire de musique under the direction of Sarrette; the combined organization remained in the facilities on the rue Bergère. The first 351 pupils commenced their studies in October 1796. By 1800, the staff of the Conservatory included some of the most important names in music in Paris, besides Gossec, the composers Luigi Cherubini, Jean-François Le Sueur, Étienne Méhul, Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny, as well as the violinists Pierre Baillot, Rodolphe Kreutzer, Pierre Rode.
A concert hall, designed by the architect François-Jacques Delannoy, was inaugurated on 7 July 1811. The hall, which still exists today, was in the shape of a U, it held an audience of 1055. The acoustics were regarded as superb; the French composer and conductor Antoine Elwart described it as the Stradivarius of concert halls. In 1828 François Habeneck, a professor of violin and head of the Conservatory's orchestra, founded the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire; the Society held concerts in the hall continuously until 1945, when it moved to the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. The French composer Hector Berlioz premiered his Symphonie fantastique in the conservatory's hall on 5 December 1830 with an orchestra of more than a hundred players; the original library was created by Sarrette in 1801. After the construction of the concert hall, the library moved to a large room above the entrance vestibule. In the 1830s, Berlioz became a part-time curator in the Conservatory library and was the librarian from 1852 until his death in 1869, but never held a teaching position.
He was succeeded as librarian by Félicien David. Sarrette was dismissed on 28 December 1814, after the Bourbon Restoration, but was reinstated on 26 May 1815, after Napoleon's return to power during the Hundred Days. However, after Napoleon's fall, Sarrette was compelled to retire on 17 November; the school was closed in the first two years of the Bourbon Restoration, during the reign of Louis XVIII, but reopened in April 1816 as the École royale de musique, with François-Louis Perne as its director. In 1819, François Benoist was appointed professor of organ; the best known director in the 19th century was Luigi Cherubini, who took over on 1 April 1822 and remained in charge until 8 February 1842. Cherubini maintained high standards and his staff included teachers such as François-Joseph Fétis, Fromental Halévy, Le Sueur, Ferdinando Paer, Anton Reicha. Cherubini was succeeded by Daniel-François-Esprit Auber in 1842. Under Auber, composition teachers included Adolphe Adam, Halévy, Ambroise Thomas.
In 1852, Camille Urso, who studied with Lambert Massart, became the first female student to win a prize on violin. The Conservatory Instrument Museum, founded in 1861, was formed from the instrument collection of Louis Clapisson; the French music historian Gustave Chouquet became the curator of the museum in 1871 and did much to expand and upgrade the collection. In the Franco-Prussian War, during the siege of Paris, the Conservatory was used as a hospital. On 13 May 1871, the day after Auber's death, the leaders of the Paris Commune appointed Francisco Salvador-Daniel as the director – however Daniel was shot and killed ten days by the troops of the French Army, he was replaced by Ambroise Thomas, who remained in the post until 1896. Thomas's rather conservative directorship was vigorously criticized by many of the students, notably Claude Debussy. During this period César Franck was ostensibly the organ teacher, but was giving classes in composition, his classes were attended by several st