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Roma (Cain / Massenet)




Opéra tragique in 5 acts, premiered at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo on 17 February 1912. After Rome vaincue by Alexandre Parodi.


“During the summer of 1902, I left Paris and returned to my home, in Egreville. Among the books and pamphlets I had brought with me was Rome vaincue by Alexandre Parodi. That magnificent tragedy had been an unforgettable success, in 1876, when it was performed for the first time on the stage of the Comédie-Française.” (Massenet, Mes souvenirs.) Hannibal has just defeated the Roman army, and the oracle attributes this defeat to a vestal virgin who has broken her vows. Suspicion falls upon Fausta, who is stabbed by her grandmother, Posthumia, to spare her from an agonising death. This subject appealed to Massenet who, at the end of his life, showed a keen interest in the classical era. After he had finished composing Le Jongleur, he contacted the heirs of Parodi, who had died in 1901. Without obtaining any kind of agreement, he began writing the role of Posthumia, which he intended for Lucy Arbell. Putting the project to one side for Ariane and Bacchus, Massenet did not resume work on Romauntil 1907, when Cain obtained the adaptation rights. The classical subject and the libretto with its distinct situations favoured the composition of a restrained style of music devoid of all artifice. Clearly serving his subject, Massenet produced a solemn, serious score, whose impassioned elements were skilfully managed. In poor health during the winter of 1911-1912, Massenet followed the progress of rehearsals organised in Paris by Gunsbourg on the telephone. The initial cast for the main roles, bringing together Maria Kuznetsova (Fausta), Lucien Muratore (Lentulus), Lucy Arbell (Posthumia) and Francisque Delmas (Fabius Maximus), gave the premiere at Monte-Carlo on 17 February and the Paris première at the Opéra on 24 April 1912. 

    Images - 13
  • Germaine Le Senne en Grande Vestale (Roma de Massenet)
  • Jean-François Delmas en Fabius (Roma de Massenet)
  • Jeanne Campredon en Junia (Roma de Massenet)
  • Julia Guiraudon dans Roma (Massenet)
  • Lucy Arbell dans Roma (Massenet)
  • Lucy Arbell en Posthumia (Roma de Massenet)
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    Libretto - 1
  • Roma [mise en scène de Paul Stuart]
  • Persons - 2
  • CAIN, Henri (1857-1937)
  • MASSENET, Jules (1842-1912)
  • Theme - 1
  • Lieux de musique – Opéra de Monte-Carlo
  • Press articles -  95
  • Comœdia, 4 septembre 1911 [Roma de Massenet]
  • Comœdia, 8 septembre 1911 [Roma de Massenet]
  • Art et industrie : revue mensuelle illustrée, janvier 1912 [Roma de Massenet]
  • Comœdia, 13 juin 1912 [Roma de Massenet]
  • Comœdia, 14 avril 1912 [Roma de Massenet]
  • Comœdia, 14 mai 1912 [Roma de Massenet]
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