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date: 02 April 2020

Arbre enchanté, L’ [L’arbre enchanté, ou Le tuteur dupé (‘The Enchanted Tree, or The Duped Tutor’)]locked

  • Bruce Alan Brown

Extract

[L’arbre enchanté, ou Le tuteur dupé (‘The Enchanted Tree, or The Duped Tutor’)]

Opéra comique in one act by Christoph Willibald Ritter von Gluck to a libretto after Jean-Joseph Vadé;’s opéra comique Le poirier (1752); Vienna, Schönbrunn Schlosstheater, 3 October 1759 (revised version, Versailles, 27 February 1775).

Based on a tale from Boccaccio’s Decameron, as retold by La Fontaine, L’arbre enchanté concerns the attempt of Claudine (soprano) and her lover Lubin (under the name of Pierrot, tenor) to outwit her lecherous tutor Monsieur Thomas (baritone). Lubin climbs a supposedly enchanted pear tree and pretends to see Thomas embracing his pupil below; the tutor climbs to see for himself, whereupon the lovers actually do embrace, then remove the ladder, and run to seek protection from the village Seigneur. Throughout the opera they receive forthright encouragement from Claudine’s younger sister Lucette (soprano), and from the fisherman Blaise (tenor), who speaks mainly in dialect.

L’arbre enchanté is on an intimate scale, with unpretentious ...

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