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date: 29 May 2020

Zaïde, reine de Grenade (‘Zaide, Queen of Granada’)locked

  • Lionel Sawkins

Extract

(‘Zaide, Queen of Granada’)

Ballet-héroïque in a prologue and three acts by Joseph-Nicolas-Pancrace Royer to a libretto by the Abbé de La Marre; Paris, Opéra, 3 September 1739.

First performed as part of the festivities surrounding the wedding of Louis XV’s daughter in 1739, Zaïde initially ran for 44 performances (the divertissement, Momus amoureux, was added on 27 October 1739 after the first 31 performances but later dropped; a copy of the opera in F-Po includes substantial autograph revisions made before the première). The work was revived for the dauphin’s wedding in 1745, first at Versailles on 10 March of that year, and then at the Paris Opéra on 13 May (the prologue, with an added scene not included in later revivals, was omitted at Versailles). It remained in the Opéra repertory until 1770. La Marre’s libretto, based on the same quasi-historical material from Moorish Spain as earlier works by Quinault (La généreuse ingratitude...

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Paris, Bibliothèque-Musée de l'Opéra