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Lalla-Roukh (Carré & Lucas / David)




Largely forgotten today, Lalla-Roukh was premiered at the Opéra-Comique on 12 May 1862 where it was hugely successful, and was regularly revived until the late 19th century. Several numbers enjoyed particular popularity and were frequently performed separately from the rest of the work, such as “Sous le feuillage sombre”, “Ô nuit d’amour” or the duet “Loin du bruit, loin du monde”. The opera tells the story of the meeting and ideal love between Noureddin (tenor), King of Samarkand, and Lalla-Roukh (soprano), the princess promised to the latter in marriage. Anxious to be loved for himself, Noureddin endeavours to make Lalla-Roukh’s acquaintance on the journey to his palace, disguised as a poet and musician. The King wins over the princess with his nightly songs and when the latter arrives at his palace, she is delighted to recognise the man with whom she has begun to fall in love. Like David’s Mélodies orientales (1836) or the Désert (1844), Lalla-Roukh is orientalist in inspiration, although it breaks with the quest for authenticity that is apparent in these two earlier works. The meticulous orchestration contributes to the subtle evocation of an imaginary Orient. Although the ensembles between the secondary characters of Mirza and Baskir, the princess’s attendants, anchor the work firmly in the tradition of opéra “bouffe”, Lalla-Roukh also demonstrates a shift in the genre of opéra comique towards greater lyricism, characteristic of Gounod’s compositions from the same period, as well as operas by Bizet, such as Les Pêcheurs de perles (1863) or Djamileh (1872).

    Images - 2
  • Lalla-Roukh (Carré & Lucas / David)
  • Page de titre du quadrille Lalla-Roukh d’après David (Arban)
  • Persons - 3
  • CARRÉ, Michel (1822-1872)
  • DAVID, Félicien (1810-1876)
  • LUCAS, Hippolyte (1807-1878)
  • Themes - 3
  • Institution – Opéra-Comique de Paris
  • Lieux de musique – Salle Favart
  • Opéra – L’opéra-comique
  • Study - 1
  • Teulon Lardic, Sabine – Le corps chantant de la Mauresque ou de l’Indienne à l’Opéra-Comique : Don Pèdre (1857), Lalla-Roukh (1862) et Lara...
  • Press articles -  12
  • Journal des débats, 23 mai 1862 [Lalla-Roukh de David]
  • La France musicale, 18 mai 1862, p. 153-157 [Lalla-Roukh de David]
  • La France musicale, 20 avril 1862 [Lalla-Roukh de David]
  • Le Ménestrel, 11 mai 1862 [Lalla-Roukh de David]
  • Le Ménestrel, 22 juin 1862 [Lalla-Roukh de David]
  • Le Ménestrel, 25 mai 1862 [Lalla-Roukh de David]
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