Paris: Heugel et Cie. [H. 4425.], . Octavo. Dark green calf-backed marbled boards, spine in compartments gilt with titling gilt. 1f. (recto part-title printed in sepia, verso blank), 1f. (recto lithographic illustrated title by Barbizet printed in sepia, verso blank), 1f. (recto named cast list, verso copyright notice), 1f. (recto table of contents, verso publisher's catalog), 4ff. (16 role portrait illustrations of specific performers, printed on rectos only), 301, [i] (blank) pp. Lithographed.
Named cast includes Montaubry, Christian, Meyronnet, Alexandre, Grivot, Gravier, Scipion, Damourette, Jean-Paul, J. Vizentini, Gaspard, Courcelles, Mallet, Colleuille, Henli, Galli, Alexandre fils, Chevalier, L. Gobert, Monet, Salesses, M. Cico, Matz-Ferrare, Perret, Angèle, E. Gilbert, P. Lyon, B. Méry, Castello, Durieu, Iriart, Maury, Julia H., Davenay, Morini, Mette, de Bryat, M. Godin, E. Albouy, Sylvana, Grandpré, and Capet plus directors and designers for the premiere of the revised, 4-act version of the opera.
Publishers' handstamps (Heugel & Cie. and G. Hartmann) to lower outer corner of title.
Binding with minor rubbing and wear; split at joints. Trimmed; very light browning and offsetting; occasional light foxing, slightly heavier to outer leaves. Handstamps slight cropped.
First Edition of the second version, [?]first issue. Lesure II, pp. 225. OCLC no. 16818785.
Orphée aux enfers, to a libretto by Hector-Jonathan Crémieux and Ludovic Halévy after classical mythology, was first performed in Paris at the Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens (Salle Choiseul) on October 21, 1858. The revised, four-act version represented by the present score was first performed in Paris at the Théâtre de la Gaîté on February 7, 1874.
"Orphée aux enfers marked a significant advance for Offenbach in 1858. From being restricted by the terms of his licence to producing short works for just a few performers, he was now permitted to use larger casts and chorus and to offer his audiences a full-length work for the first time. Though the idea of parodying Greek mythology... was not new, the vehemence with which Offenbach did so, not least by turning a stately minuet into a cancan, caused a good deal of critical comment. However, this merely served to increase interest in the work and ensure its overwhelming success in Paris. In turn this led to international celebrity on an enlarged scale and substantially accelerated the pace of acceptance of his works abroad... In 1874 Offenbach expanded the four scenes into four separate acts for a spectacular production at the Théâtre de la Gaîté... This opened with a new overture... and introduced new characters, two ballets and several new vocal numbers." Andrew Lamb in Grove Music Online. Item #25842
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