L'amant jaloux

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L'amant jaloux, ou Les fausses apparences (The Jealous Lover, or False Appearances) is a French comédie mêlée d'ariettes in three acts by André Grétry first performed at Versailles on 20 November 1778. The libretto is by the Irish playwright Thomas Hales (also known by the French name Thomas d'Hèle) with the verse passages provided by F.Levasseur. It was based on the play The Wonder: A Woman Keeps a Secret (1714) by Susannah Centlivre.

The most famous arias in the opera include O douce nuit, the tenor serenade Tandis que tout sommeille (recorded by Roberto Alagna, amongst others Roberto Alagna French Arias (EMI)) and the coloratura display piece Je romps l a chaîne qui m'engage. The composer admitted the last named aria had no dramatic function, but he wanted to give his soprano star Marie-Jeanne Trial ("the finest voice ever formed by nature") "a chance to shine". The musicologist David Charlton claims Mozart and his librettist Lorenzo da Ponte knew Grétry's opera and were influenced by its ensembles when they wrote The Marriage of Figaro.

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Synopsis

Place: Cadiz, Spain


The rich merchant Don Lopez does not want his young, widowed daughter Léonore to remarry. However, she is in love with the insanely jealous Don Alonze. Alonze's sister and Léonore's friend, Isabelle, is being pursued by her tutor who wants to marry her. The tutor is driven off by the French officer Florival and...
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