Boieldieu Francois-Adrien  
Boieldieu Francois-Adrien

Boieldieu by Louis Léopold Boilly, circa 1800 (Musée de Rouen).
Francois-Adrien Boieldieu, (born Dec. 16, 1775, Rouen, France—died Oct. 8, 1834, Jarsy), composer who helped transform the French opéra comique into a more serious form of early romantic opera.

Boieldieu studied in Rouen under the organist Charles Broche and composed numerous operas and piano sonatas. His sonatas are remarkable for their form, and they constitute the first important body of piano works by a French composer. In 1796 he settled in Paris, where he met Étienne Méhul and Luigi Cherubini. The following year he produced three comic operas—La Famille suisse, L’Heureuse nouvelle, and Le Pari ou Mombreuil et Merville.

He became professor of piano at the conservatory in 1798 and composed his successful operas Le Calife de Bagdad (1800) and Ma Tante Aurore (1803). From 1804 to 1810 he directed the opera at St. Petersburg, Russia. In 1816 he became director of music to Louis XVIII, in 1817 a member of the French Institute, and in 1820 professor of composition at the conservatory.

His main operas of this period were Jean de Paris (1812), Le Petit Chaperon rouge (1818; “Little Red Riding Hood”), and his masterpiece, La Dame blanche (1825; “The White Lady”). Composed on a libretto by Eugène Scribe, derived from Sir Walter Scott’s novels The Lady of the Lake, Guy Mannering, and Monastery, it had received 1,700 performances by 1914. Boieldieu’s work illustrates the evolution of French operatic music in the generation following the French Revolution.

In its lighter aspects, his style was compared to Gioacchino Rossini’s. His scenes of mystery and romance, particularly in La Dame blanche, are akin to those of Carl Maria von Weber. He also composed numerous romances for voice and harp or piano and a concerto for harp (1801).

Encyclopædia Britannica

François-Adrien Boieldieu, etching after
Henri-François Riesener, Bibliothèque national de France.
La dame blanche (The White Lady) - 1825
La dame blanche (The White Lady) is an opéra comique in three acts by the French composer François-Adrien Boieldieu. The libretto was written by Eugène Scribe and is based on episodes from no less than five works of the Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott, including his novels The Monastery, Guy Mannering, and The Abbot. The opera has typical elements of the Romantic in its Gothic mode, including an exotic Scottish locale, a lost heir, a mysterious castle, a hidden fortune, and a ghost, in this case benevolent. The work was one of the first attempts to introduce the fantastic into opera and is a model for works such as Giacomo Meyerbeer's Robert le diable and Charles Gounod's Faust. The opera's musical style also heavily influenced later operas like Lucia di Lammermoor, I puritani and La jolie fille de Perth.

Performance history

La dame blanche was first performed on 10 December 1825 by the Opéra-Comique at the Théâtre Feydeau in Paris. It was a major success and became a standby of the 19th century operatic repertory in France and Germany. By 1862, the Opéra-Comique had given more than 1,000 performances of La dame blanche.

It was first performed in England in English as The White Lady at the Drury Lane Theatre on 9 October 1826, and in the United States in French at the Théâtre d'Orléans on 6 February 1827.

The opera's popularity began to diminish towards the very end of the 19th century and performances since have been rare. The opera was revived in Paris in 1996 by the conductor Marc Minkowski. Various recordings of the opera have been made.

The overture was put together from Boieldieu's themes by his student Adolphe Adam.

Musical analysis
Boieldieu's score is highly expressive and full of striking numbers. Of particular note are Jenny's ballad, Brown's entrance aria and the music sung by Anna, which is highly florid and preceded by harp arpeggios whenever the White Lady appears. The central dramatic focus of the opera is the auction scene, an ensemble in the Italian style which has an intensity not equalled or surpassed by any other opéra comique of that period, either by Boieldieu or his contemporaries. The aria from the opera that is most often performed today in recital is the tenor aria, "Viens, gentille dame" ("Come, Gentle Lady"). The opera also makes use of Scottish folk tunes.

Place: Scotland
Time: 1753
The Count and Countess Avenel have both died in exile, leaving the fate of their castle and estate to their wicked and dishonest steward, Gaveston. The property is supposed to go to the Avenel's son, Julien, but he is missing. Dickson, a tenant farmer on the land of the late Count, and his spouse Jenny are about to celebrate the baptism of their infant son when they realize that they do not have a godfather. A youthful officer in the English army, Georges Brown, offers to assume this role. Dickson informs Brown that the castle is going to be auctioned by Gaveston, who hopes to buy it and the title for himself. Jenny sings the Ballad of The White Lady ("D’ici voyez ce beau domaine"), the "White Lady" being the guardian spirit of the Avenels. Dickson receives correspondence from the White Lady, beckoning him to the castle. As he is too frightened to obey, Brown goes in his place.

Meanwhile, Anna, an orphan raised by the Avenels, tells the elderly housekeeper Marguerite how she cared for an injured soldier who reminded her of Julien, who was her childhood sweetheart. Gaveston proclaims his plans for the auction the next morning. Brown appears, seeking shelter for the night. Left alone, he sings the cavatina, "Viens, gentille dame". Anna enters, disguised as The White Lady, in a white veil. She recognizes Brown as the soldier she took care of in Hanover. Tomorrow he must obey her implicitly. Brown agrees to do so.

The following morning the auction takes place. On behalf of the Avenel tenants, Dickson bets in opposition to Gaveston but quickly reaches his limit. Encouraged by Anna to help Dickson out, Brown places a bid in the auction and soon outbids the steward, buying the castle for 500,000 francs. However, Dickson does not have the money and if he does not pay before midday he will be thrown into prison.

Anna and Marguerite look for the statue of the White Lady, in which is stashed the wealth of the Avenels. Brown has a curious feeling that he somehow remembers the castle. Meanwhile, Gaveston receives the news that George Brown is in fact the missing Julien Avenel, although Brown himself does not know it. Anna overhears the news and sets a plan in motion. At the strike of 12 noon, the White Lady appears with a treasure chest. Thwarted, Gaveston tears off her veil in rage to expose Anna, who then reveals Brown's true identity as Julien. Julien and Anna are happily reunited.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Boieldieu: La Dame blanche - Paris, 1961 (Sénéchal, Legros, Louvay, Berbié; dir. Stoll)
George Brown: Michel Sénéchal
Gaveston: Adrien Legros
Dickson: Aimé Doniat
Anna: Françoise Louvay
Jenny: Jane Berbié
Marguerite Germaine Baudoz
Mac Irton: Pierre Héral
Orchestre Symphonique et Choeurs de Paris
dir. Pierre Stoll
rec. 1961
François-Adrien Boïeldieu - La Dame blanche - Ouverture
La Dame blanche, opéra comique in three acts, first performance 10 December 1825, Opéra-Comique, Paris.

Libretto: Eugène Scribe, after Sir Walter Scotts Georg Mannering


Orchestra: Radio Symphonieorchester BratIslava

François-Adrien Boieldieu - IL CALIFFO DI BAGDAD - Rai Milano, 30.07.1955 - RARE RECORDING
con Rodolfo Moraro, Anna Maria Rota, Irene Gasperoni, Liliana Poli, Arturo La Porta, Mario Carlin, Egidio Casolari e con Ernesto Calindri, Rina Centa, Enrica Corti, Emanuela Dariva, Carlo Delfini. Orchestra Sinfonica e coro della Rai. Milano, 30.07.1955
François-Adrien Boïeldieu - Le calife de Bagdad - Ouverture
Le calife de Bagdad, opéra comique in one acts, first peformance 16 September 1800, Opéra-Comique, Paris.

Libretto: Saint-Juste; Claude Godard d'Aucor


Orchestra: Radio Symphonieorchester

Conductor: Ondrej Lenard

François-Adrien Boïeldieu - Zoraime Et Zulnar - Ouverture
Zoraime Et Zulnar, opéra comique in three acts, first performance 10 May 1798, Opéra-Comique Favart, Paris.

Libretto: Claude Godard d'Aucort de Saint-Just


Orchestra: English Chamber Orchestra

Conductor: Richard Bonynge

François Boieldieu - Concerto for Harp and Orchestra (Sasha Boldachev)
Harp: Alexander Boldachev
Conductor: Sergey Fedoseev
Orchestra: Klangforum Schweiz
Date: 28.10.2013
Francois-Adrien Boieldieu - Rondeau Allegro agitato
Rondeau Allegro agitato
Boieldieu's Concerto is in three movements, written at the age of twenty. The third section is marked as Allegro agitato
Baltazar Juárez is Solo harpist of the National Symphony
Orchestra of Mexico.
Evan Mitchell is Conducting the Vancouver Symphony
This concert was presented at 11th World Harp Congress at Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver.
F. A. BOIELDIEU : SONATA clar. & piano
Wilfried Berk, clarinet / clarinette
Elisabeth Berk-Seiz, piano

François-Adrien Boieldieu (16 December 1775, Rouen -- 8 October 1834, Varennes-Jarcy, Essonne) was a French composer, mainly of operas, often called "the French Weber".

Sonata in E flat major / Sonata em Mib majeur
I. Allegro moderato
II. Andantino con variazioni
(first world recording / première enregistrement mondiale)
LP Musik in Herrenhausen (2)
Leuenhagen & Paris

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