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CD88232 Chabrier's comic opera l'Étoile - Geneva December 20

CD88232 Chabrier's comic opera l'Étoile - Geneva December 20
CD88232 Chabrier's comic opera l'Étoile - Geneva December 20
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CD88232 Chabrier's comic opera l'Étoile - Geneva December 20

Here's reupload by request of the performance of Chabrier's comic opera 'The Star', recorded live 9 November 2009 at Grand Théâtre de Genève and broadcast by Éspace 2, 12 December 2009.

Cast Le roi Ouf 1er............Jean-Paul Fouchécourt (tenor) Siroco....................René Schirrer (bass-baritone) Hérisson de porc-Epic.....Pierre Doyen (baritone) Tapioca...................Fabrice Farina (tenor) Lazuli....................Marie-Claude Chappuis (mezzo-soprano) La princesse Laoula.......Sophie Graf (soprano) Aloès.....................Blandine Staskiewicz (mezzo-soprano) Chef de la police.........Frédéric Longbois

With: Harry Draganov & Omar Garrido

Choeurs du Grand-Théâtre de Genève, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande Conducted by Jean-Yves Ossonce

Happy listening! krokelva

Synopsis in French: Le roi Ouf 1er, un despote, cherche un quidam à empaler en public afin d'égayer son anniversaire. Passent quatre voyageurs d'une contrée voisine. L'un d'eux gifle le roi qui vient de trouver la victime pour le pal. Ce dernier parviendra-t-il à échapper au supplice et à ravir la belle princesse Laoula au roi ? Pour le savoir, n'hésitez pas à nous rejoindre et à partager avec nous cette aventure au son d'une musique exquise. Mais, laissons Vincent d'Indy conclure : « Cette pimpante Étoile, petit chef-d'œuvre de musique drôle, aussi brillant que Le Barbier, est à coup sûr plus comique et plus musicale que toutes les opérettes antérieures. »

*************************************************** From Penguin New Guide to Opera

L'etoile The Star Opéra bouffe in three acts (1h 30m) Libretto by Eugene Leterrier and Albert Vanloo Composed 1877

Premiers 28 November 1577, Theatre des Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris; US: 18 August 1890, Broadway Theater, New York (arr. Sousa); UK: 7 January 1899, Savoy Theatre, London (arr. Sousa as The Merry Monarch); ¬Apri1 1970, John Lewis Theatre, London (as The Lucky Star)

Cast Ouf t, Siroco b, Herisson de Porc-Epic bar, Aloès ms, Tapioca t, Lazuli s (travesti role), Princess Laoula s, maids of honour (Oasis, e, Youca, Adza, Zinnia, Koukouli) 6 s, Mayor and Chief of spoken roles; satb chorus of people, watchmen, courtiers

Standard orchestra

For all the (to us) charm of Chabrier's first completed opera, it was at first regarded as excessively complicated for an opera bouffe. It was accused of Wagnerian orches¬tration (Henri Duparc, who admired it, later called it `a French Meistersinger'), and both the orchestra and the chorus had difficulty preparing their music. Its original run of 40 performances at the Bouffes-Parisiens was regarded as disappointing, and it was not seen again in Paris until 1941.

Synopsis Act I Ouf the First roams his city in disguise to find a suitable subject to execute as a 39th birthday treat. Enter, also disguised, Herisson, his wife Aloes, secretary Tapioca, and Laoula, daughter of the neighbouring monarch. Their mission, of which she is unaware, is to marry Laoula to Ouf. The pedlar Lazuli has already fallen for her. Scolded for flirting with the two ladies (who are disguised as each other) he insults Ouf, who thus finds the desired candidate for death by impalement. Just in time Siroco, the king's astrol¬oger, reveals that Ouf's fate and Lazuli's are inextricably linked. Lazuli is escorted with honour into the palace.

Act II Lazuli longs to escape and join Laoula. Ouf, still unaware of the two women's exchange, furthers the lovers' marriage by having the superfluous husband, Herisson, imprisoned. Lazuli and Laoula depart happily together, leaving Aloes and Ouf in friendly contact, to the discom-posure of Herisson who has now escaped. This confusion is resolved and Herisson orders the pedlar to be shot. Gunfire is heard from the lake. Laoula is brought in, but no Lazuli, so Ouf and Siroco accept that this day will be their last.

Act III Lazuli, who has swum to safety, returns to overhear Ouf and his astrologer drowning their sorrows in green chartreuse and then, when Herisson enters, an explanation. The men leave; the girls return. Their sadness is dispelled when Lazuli reveals himself, suffering only from a sneeze. A second elopement is planned. But Ouf returns, anxious to implant an heir without delay (an earlier prediction said he would lose his throne if his successor was not sired before he turned 40). Functionaries arrive to perform the marriage. Then when Siroco's latest erratic stargazing tells Ouf that his death is imminent, he releases Laoula and declares the pedlar his heir. His disappointment is lost in the general rejoicing.

The attractions of this charming piece include the tender romance de 1'etoile where Lazuli first declares his love (its words possibly by Verlaine) and the delicious Tickling trio which follows. The words for the gruesome punishment which gives the otherwise kindly king such pleasure can surely be attributed in all their salacious innuendo to Ver¬laine: 'Le Pal / Est de tous les supplices / Le principal / Et le plus fécond en délices.' (The official librettists changed the last line to 'le moins rempli de délices'.) The note of tenderness is struck again in Act III with Laoula's couplets de la rose (at the moment when all hope of Lazuli has abandoned her for the second time). Parody of Donizetti/ Bellini, lurking everywhere, surfaces in the Green Chartr¬euse duet a little earlier. But the music's main language is French, the accent unmistakably Chabrier's.

Recording Alliot-Lugaz, Raphanel, Damonte, Gautier, Le Roux, Bacquier, David, Lyons Opera Ch & 0, Gardiner, HMV, 1984 Publisher: Enoch: vs., 1877

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