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The University of Southampton

“Il viaggio a Reims and the New Critical Edition of Le comte Ory” Seminar

1 May 2012
Room 1083 Music, Building 2 Highfield Campus University of Southampton SO17 1BJ

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Dr Florian Scheding at .

Event details

A Seminar by Philip Gossett

Opera houses that perform the old edition of Le comte Ory (it is based on a nineteenth-century score) choose to ignore the massive differences in the new critical edition, edited by Damien Colas, which is based largely on the original performing parts from the Théâtre de l'Opéra in Paris. (No autograph manuscript exists.)  As Mark Everist has shown, Le comte Ory is a Petit opéra, with no internal ballet (ballets were independent as part of an evening's entertainment). As a result, Rossini was under considerable pressure to keep the work short, which he did. We do not insist that every opera house must perform every note in the parts, some of which are cut (we mark such passages with "Vi-" "-de"), but a responsible opera house should at the very least KNOW that these passages exist. That way they can make an independent judgment. We know in particular that the Finale has always seemed very short: but Rossini wrote some 70 additional measures, which were omitted during the rehearsal period. We had always said that Rossini reused the Gran pezzo concertato from Il viaggio a Reims in Le comte Ory, reducing the fourteen solo voices to seven solo voices and a chorus. What was our surprise when we learned that he actually wrote for Le comte Ory (nor was this notation ever modified in the performing materials), THIRTEEN solo voices and TWO choruses. In short, the changes in the new critical edition of Le comte Ory are massive and offer important new opportunities to performers.

Speaker information

Philip Gossett, University of Chicago

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