- Henry VIII (opera)
"Henry VIII" is an
operain four acts by Camille Saint-Saëns, from a librettoby Léonce Détroyatand Armand Silvestre, based on "El cisma en Inglaterra" "(The schism in England)" by Pedro Calderón de la Barca.
Background and performance history
The action covers the period in
Henry VIII's life when the king was discarding Queen Catherine of Aragonin favour of Anne Boleyn, a move rejected by the Church.
In an effort to evoke the historical context, Saint-Saëns researched English music from the period and incorporated several English, Scottish, and Irish folk melodies into his score, as well as an air by
William Byrd, contained in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book.
"Henry VIII" received its first performance on
5 March 1883at the Opéra de Paris, where it remained in the repertoire until 1919. It was seen at the Royal Opera House, Londonin 1889. It was revived in 1991 at the Théatre Impérial de Compiègnein a production by Pierre Jourdan, with Philippe Rouillon as Henry VIII, Michèle Command as Catherine of Aragon and Lucile Vignon as Anne Boleyn. The production was made into a film.
Its most recent (2002) performance was at the
Liceuin Barcelonawhere it was staged once again by Pierre Jourdan with Montserrat Caballéas Catherine, Simon Estesas Henry and Nomeda Kazlaus as Anne Boleyn, with José Collado conducting.
* Philippe Rouillon, Michèle Command, Lucile Vignon, conducted by Alain Guingal. "Le Chant Du Monde". (also available as a DVD, "Kultur Films")
* [http://www.karadar.it/Librettos/saint-saens_henry.html French Libretto]
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