Opera Scotland

Jules Massenet Suggest updates

Jules-Emile-Frédéric Massenet

Born Montaud nr St Etienne, 12 May 1842.

Died Paris, 13 August 1912.

French composer.

Half a century ago, it looked as though Massenet was about to disappear into operatic history. Manon and Werther still maintained a toe-hold in the repertoire, but his other works had been largely forgotten.

Since then his fortunes have been transformed, with most of his operas being revived.

Several, including Chérubin, Thaïs, Esclarmonde, Don Quichotte and Cendrillon have apparently been recognised as worthy of regular performance in the major houses.   Manon and Werther are now seen as indispensable.

Scottish performances

Scottish Opera, with only three stage productions, two of Werther and one of Manon, have been slow to accept the composer, and until the concert performance of Thaïs in 2011, Massenet had been ignored by the Edinburgh Festival apart from the Don Quichotte of 1962.  Scottish Opera eventually promised a couple of concert performances of the excellent Thérèse.  Like his earlier La Navarraise it is just as worthwhile as the far more famous short operas of Mascagni and Leoncavallo.

Operas performed in Scotland are shown in bold:-

La Grand'tante (Paris 1867) (Adenis & Grandvallet)

Don Cézar de Bazan (Paris 1872) (d'Ennery, Dumanoir & Chantepie)

Marie-Magdeleine (Paris 1873, rev Nice 1903) (Gallet)

L'adorable Bel-Boul (Paris 1874) (Gallet)

Bérengère et Anatole (Paris 1876) (Meilhac & Poirson)

Le Roi de Lahore (Paris 1877) (Gallet)

Hérodiade (Brussels 1881) (Milliet & Gremont)                                                                       

Manon (Paris 1884) (Meilhac & Gille)

Le Cid (Paris 1885) (d'Ennery, Blau & Gallet)

Werther (1885-7; Vienna 1892) (Blau, Millet & Hartmann)                                               

Esclarmonde (Paris 1889) (Blau & de Gramont)

Le Mage (Paris 1891) (Richepin)

Thaïs (Paris 1894) (Gallet)

Le Portrait de Manon (Paris 1894) (Boyer)

La Navarraise (London 1894) (Claretie & Cain)

Sapho (Paris 1897) (Cain & Bernede)

Cendrillon (Paris 1899) (Cain)               

Grisélidis (Paris 1901) (Sylvestre & Morand)

Le Jongleur de Notre-Dame (Monte Carlo 1902) (Lena)

Amadis (1902; prod Monte Carlo 1922) (Claretie)

Chérubin (Monte Carlo 1905) (de Croiset & Cain)

Ariane (Paris 1906) (Mendes)

Thérèse (Monte Carlo 1908) (Claretie)

Bacchus (Paris 1909) (Mendes)

Don Quichotte (Monte Carlo 1910) (Cain)

Roma (Monte Carlo 1912) (Cain)

Panurge (Paris 1913) (Spitzenmuller & Boukay)

Cléopâtre (Monte Carlo 1914) (Payen)

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