Monday, July 9, 2018

Music Monday: II. Air [Colette]: J'ai perdu tout mon bonheur (1752)

Welcome to the first Music Monday! A weekly series highlighting music related to Marie Antoinette, from contemporary pieces she once sang on stage to modern songs inspired by the famous queen.

First up:

II. Air [Colette]: J'ai perdu tout mon bonheur from Le devin du village by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. 

Le devin du village, or The Village Soothsayer, is a one-act opera by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The opera follows a young couple named Colin and Colette who visit a local soothsayer after suspecting one another of being unfaithful. In the end, the two are reconciled to each other's love and get married.

Le devin du village was first performed in 1752 for the royal court, where it was an immediate hit. It quickly became one of the most popular operas during its lifetime and was frequently performed in France, both on and off royal stages. It was even chosen as one of the performances held during the 1770 festivities in honor of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette's marriage. In September of 1780, ten years after her wedding, Marie Antoinette chose to perform the opera on stage with her private theater troupe. Antoinette played the leading role of Collette, featured here in the opening piece, "J'ai perdu tout mon bonheur," or "I have lost all my happiness."

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