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Oedipe à Colone

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Antonio Sacchini


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Oedipe à Colone Libretto



About the opera Oedipe à Colone

Œdipe à Colone is an operatic 'tragédie lyrique' by Antonio Sacchini first performed at Versailles on January 4, 1786 in the presence of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. The libretto, by Nicolas-François Guillard, is based on the play Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles. The premiere, intended to inaugurate the new theatre at Versailles, was not a success, possibly due to the quality of the performances, the staging or the acoustics. Marie Antoinette promised Sacchini a better production at Fontainebleau in the autumn, but the Affair of the Diamond Necklace meant she was unable to have her wish. The news that the production was cancelled is said to have hastened the death of the already seriously ill composer on October 9, 1786. Œdipe was given a posthumous performance by the Paris Opera at the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin on February 1, 1787. This time the audience was warmly appreciative and the opera became one of the most popular pieces in the repertoire for several decades, reaching a total of almost 600 performances by 1844.
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