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O beau pays de la Touraine

Opera details:

Opera title:

Les Hugenots


Giacomo Meyerbeer




Les Hugenots Synopsis


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Aria details:




Marguerite de Valois





Previous scene: Ein feste Burg
Next scene: Ah! si j'étais coquette

Giacomo Meyerbeer – LES HUGUENOTS – ‘O beau pays de la Touraine’ (Joan Sutherland)

Singer(s): Joan Sutherland Kiri Te Kanawa

Opéra en 5 actes
Composer: Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791–1864)
Libretto: Eugène Scribe & Émile Deschamps
First performance : Paris Opera, 29 February 1836

SETTING: Touraine and Paris, August 1572

PLOT: Raoul de Nangis, a young Huguenot, has fallen in love with an unknown beauty whom he rescued. At the Comte de Nevers’ château, he sees the woman visit Nevers in secret. She is really Valentine, daughter of the Comte de Saint-Bris, sent by Marguerite de Valois (1553–1615), sister of Charles IX and daughter of Catherine de Médicis, to break off her engagement to Nevers. To reconcile the warring religious factions, Marguerite wants Valentine to marry Raoul, just as she will marry the Protestant monarch Henri de Navarre. However, Raoul refuses to marry Valentine, whom he believes is Nevers’s mistress. Back in Paris, Nevers marries Valentine. (Saint-Bris has tried to murder Admiral Coligny, the leader of the Huguenot party.) To avenge the insult to his house, Saint-Bris plans to murder Raoul in a duel, but Raoul’s servant Marcel, warned by Valentine, saves him. Raoul learns the real reason for Valentine’s visit to Nevers, and that he wronged her. He visits Nevers’ Parisian town-house in secret, where he overhears the Catholics plot to murder the Huguenots – a plot conceived by Catherine de Médicis herself. After they have left, Valentine tries to restrain Raoul: ‘Stay! I love you.’ They sing a passionate love duet, but the noise of the tocsin outside brings him to his senses, and he leaves to fight with his co-religionists. The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s day has begun. In the streets of Paris, Valentine tells Raoul that if he converts to Catholicism, his life will be saved; Raoul refuses. Valentine renounces her faith, and accepts Raoul’s; Marcel marries them. The Catholics shoot the three; Saint-Bris learns that he has murdered his own daughter. The murderers sing that God demands blood, as the powerless Marguerite passes over the stage. Beginning on 23–24 August 1572, between 5,000 and 30,000 were killed across France over the next few weeks.

‘Les Huguenots’ is an astonishing opera. It starts almost light-heartedly, close to opéra-comique or Rossini, and ends in blackest tragedy, with music anticipating Verdi.

It was the most popular opera of the 19th century, performed around the world, and was the first work to be performed at the Paris Opéra more than a thousand times (1906). Verdi called Acts II and IV ‘true theatre … stupendo’, while Berlioz thought the ‘superb’ opera contained ‘enough musical riches for twenty operas’. Even the young Wagner was impressed: ‘Meyerbeer wrote world history, the history of heart and feeling; he burst the bounds of national prejudice in writing deeds of music.’

No. 7 – Entr'acte & Air: ‘O beau pays de la Touraine’
In her gardens of her castle in Touraine, Marguerite de Valois, the King of France’s sister, contemplates the beauties of the countryside, free from religious strife.

Marguerite de Valois, reine de Navarre / Queen of Navarre (soprano): Joan Sutherland
Dame d’Honneur 1 : Kiri Te Kanawa
Dame d’Honneur 2 : Josephte Clement
Ambrosian Opera Chorus

Conductor : Richard Bonynge
New Philharmonia Orchestra
London, 1969

Watch videos with other singers performing O beau pays de la Touraine:

Lisette Oropesa in Meyerbeer s Les Huegenots  259937
1 - Lisette Oropesa
Annick MASSIS 2005 Les Huguenots I GMeyerbeer 123229
1 - Annick Massis

Les Huguenots Act 2 O beau pays de la Touraine Marguerite Urbain Coryphee Dame 123240
1 - Diana Damrau
Desiree Rancatore O beau Pays de la Touraine da Les Huguenots di G Meyerbeer 123233
1 - Desirée Rancatore

Ruth Ann Swenson O Beau pays de la Touraine Les Huguenots 123232
1 - Ruth Ann Swenson
Montserrat Caballe Les Huguenots Giacomo Meyerbeer 123239
1 - Montserrat Caballé

Christiane EdaPierre O beau pays de la Touraine Les Huguenots 123253
1 - Christiane Eda-Pierre

Beverly Sills Les Huguenots O beau pays de la Touraine Carnegie Hall 51469 259940
1 - Beverly Sills

Joan Sutherland O beau pays de la Touraine Les Huguenots Meyerbeer 123246
1 - Joan Sutherland
Margarethe Siems sing O glucklich Land from Les huguenots Meyerbeer 123249
1 - Margarethe Siems

Alida BarbasiniLes Huguenots O beau pays de la Touraine  123260
1 - Katia Ricciarelli
Meyerbeer Les Huguenots O beau pays de la Touraine by Eide Norena 1935 123270
1 - Eidé Norena

Soprano ANTONINA NEZHDANOVA Les Huguenots O beau pays de la Touraine 1908 123263
1 - Antonina Nezhdanova
Brenda Harris Meyerbeer LES HUGUENOTS O beau pays de la Touraine Boston 1985 259948
1 - Carol Vaness

Les Huguenots O beau pays de la touraine Recorded 1911 123281
1 - Frieda Hempel
Les Huguenots Act II O beau pays de la Touraine 123280
1 - Renée Doria

Les Huguenots Act II Au beau pays de la Touraine 123279
1 - Alice Verlet
Diana Damrau records Meyerbeer Grand Opera Les Huguenots O beau pays de la Touraine  123225
1 - Diana Damrau
1 - Maria Callas
2 - Joyce DiDonato

1962 live Joan Sutherland Les Huguenots at La Scala O beau pays de la Touraine 123226
1 - Joan Sutherland
2 - Fiorenza Cossotto
2 - Giulietta Simionato
Rita Shane O beau pays de la Touraine from Les Huguenots 123228
1 - Jeanette Scovotti
1 - Rita Shane

Giacomo Meyerbeer LES HUGUENOTS O beau pays de la Touraine Joan Sutherland 123235
1 - Joan Sutherland
1 - Kiri Te Kanawa

Meyerbeer Les Huguenots Act 2 O beau pays de la Touraine 123290
1 - Joan Sutherland
1 - Kiri Te Kanawa
2 - Huguette Tourangeau

Louise Lebrun Meyerbeer LES HUGUENOTS O beau pays de la Touraine Paris 1976 High E 259943
1 - Carol Neblett
1 - Edita Gruberová
1 - Pierrette Alarie
Les Huguenots Meyerbeer beau pays de la Touraine Lisette Oropesa 259946
1 - Ermonela Jaho
1 - Lisette Oropesa
2 - Karine Deshayes

Sumi Jo beau pays de la Touraine LES HUGEUNOTS Giacomo Meyerbeer 259958
1 - Sumi Jo
2 - Elīna Garanča
Ruth Ann Swenson O beau pays de la Touraine LES HUGUENOTS Giacomo Meyerbeer 259959
1 - Ruth Ann Swenson
2 - Marilyn Horne

Dame Joan Sutherland O beau pays de la Touraine LES HUGUEONOTS Giacomo Meyerbeer 259965
1 - Joan Sutherland
1 - Nellie Melba
2 - Marilyn Horne
Les Huguenots Act II Air O beau pays de la Touraine Sombres chimeres Marguerite 123289
1 - Renée Doria
2 - Simone Couderc


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