La bohemienne, comedie en deux actes en vers, mêlée d'ariettes,
Ballad operas; Favart, M. (Charles-Simon), 1710-1792)
[Rinaldo di Capua], 18th century.
di Capua, Rinaldo (ca. 1705-ca. 1780). La Bohemienne, comedie en deux actes en vers, melee d’ariettes, traduite de la Zingara, intermede italien, par M. Favart. Representee pour la premiere fois, par les comediens Italiens ordinaries du roi, le 28 Juillet 1755 and a la cour devant leurs Majesties le 1 Decembre de la meme anne & le 11 Fevrier 1756. Liege : F. J. Desoer, 1756? M1500 F37 B56 Little is known about Neapolitan composer Rinaldo di Capua, although at least forty operas are attributed to him, produced in Florence, Venice, Rome, Lisbon, Turin, Paris and other cities. Music for only six of his operas survives. La Bohemienne was, perhaps, first performed at the Academie Royale de Musique in Paris in June, 1753, by a small company of Italians. It was so successful that the score was published soon after with Italian words. In 1755, two more characters were added for a performance in Italy. Soon after this, the work was adapted by Madame Favart, produced with her in the principal role. It is likely that considerable changes were made to suit very particular French tastes. Charles Burney, a contemporary traveling musician who later turned music historian, found di Capua in Rome in 1770. Di Capua had hoped to publish his operas as a collected work to help him in his old age, but his son had burned all his manuscripts. Rinaldo di Capua, with a few minor hits on his hands, died in poverty and obscurity. However, he contributed a key innovation to the structure of the modern symphony. In his own compositions, he replaced the usual suite of vignettes, which could be moved from one place to another in any given performance, with a form that was played and heard as a coherent whole – that is, a single narrative of parts, instead of a group of separate parts put together with no real attachment to one another. According to Gurney, di Capua used this approach when composing his opéra comédie.
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