Robert Le Diable
Posted 15 July 2003 - 05:27 PM
In Robert Le Diable there was a dance of the nuns who were women risen from the grave at night.
Is this near correct?
Posted 15 July 2003 - 05:38 PM
Glebb, I think Knud Arne Jurgensen has a book (a cheaper one!) on this, too, with notation reconstruction by Anne Hutchinson Guest. RG has been studying Robert le Diable and I'm sure will correct me if I'm wrong. And I hope add other info!
Posted 15 July 2003 - 05:40 PM
And yes, one of the later scenes of the opera is a "Ballet of the Dead Nuns" danced at one time by Taglioni. There's just this annoying tenor who won't go away and a chorus offstage.... Apparently, it stayed pretty popular, as Degas painted a whirling impression of a dancer in it, which reminds me something of Herb Migdoll's photos.
It is recorded. Try Amazon.
And then there is the gloriously incompetent "The Dying Nun" from the musical Nunsense....
Posted 15 July 2003 - 05:48 PM
OMG, five acts!
Very cool! What follows is from the synopsis provided by the Meyerbeer Fan Club.
Act III, Scene II - The tombs of the convent at Saint Rosalie
What follows is one of the most effective and haunting scenes in all of opera. This is the burial place of nuns who have offended heaven with impure thoughts.
Bertram summons up the sinful dead nuns ("Nonnes qui repose") commanding them to action. They rise from their tombs, at first slowly, and then work themselves into a frenzy, shedding their habits and dancing a bacchanal. They attempt to seduce Robert. Under their spell and guided by the the mistress Helene he steals the magic cypress branch, and makes himself disappear. The nuns sink back into their tombs.
Thanks Alexandra and Mel. I look forward to reading RGs comments.
Posted 16 July 2003 - 11:12 AM
Posted 16 July 2003 - 12:42 PM
1) An invocation and processional, a kind of stop-and-start marche funebre
2) La tentations par le vin
3) et par le jeu
4) et par l'amour
5) Bacchanale. If you get to hear the music, listen closely to the cadence, for I seem to remember that Adam borrowed it, or created something very similar, for the cadence to the Waltz of the Wilis. There it's an interrupted cadence (Dflat to G flat, or the flattened mediant) followed by the "legitimate" cadence of B flat to E flat. If the bacchanale ends in A major, and I think it does, there should be an interrupted cadence on C. But I am simply guessing at this point. Forgive my slow response. I turned fifty last year, and my once excellent memory is letting me down as my brain cells die off in droves!
Posted 16 July 2003 - 03:45 PM
It seems as if your memory is excellent.
Congrats on your age and don't scare me about the brain cells.
I'm not far behind!
Posted 16 July 2003 - 06:38 PM
Posted 17 July 2003 - 03:32 AM
Posted 17 July 2003 - 03:36 AM
Posted 17 July 2003 - 07:13 AM
certainly knud-arne j. is THE scholar, having even reconstructed from some bournonville notes (if mem. serves) some of the taglioni and after choreog.
i have 3 recordings of the opera. the one mentioned here from paris isn't out but another one, which i think had choreograhy by lacotte was also booed, the catcalls are heard loudly and clearly on the discs of a live recording in paris, 2 jul 1985.
my other recording is 'roberto il diavolo' from firenzie 1968, on myto label.
the most recent recording, on dynamic, includes what i think is the complete ballet sequence (it seems to match what rodney has posted here - still i cannot say for certain, i don't have a score and don't read music in any case: knud-arne j. would know for certain.)
re: degas i know of 2 canvases showing what i take to be the transition from the procession of the nuns into the dance suite. there are also at least 3 oil sketches of the same which i'm aware of - all 5 works were luckily in the recent 'degas and the dance' exhibit as was at least one stage maquette, much to my delight. the reason these moments must be before the suite proper is that the nuns are still in their habits but as knud-arne j. has shown the dancing sections were performed w/ the nuns in ballet skirts, a la sylphs and/or wilis. in one of the oil sketches it seems clear to me that degas' accurate eye indicated the 'bulk' of the startched ballet skirt under the nuns' habits which fall less than directly to the hem.
re: knud-arne j. he published an entire monograph on the subject, as follows:
Robert le diable : the ballet of the nuns / ballet by Filippo Taglioni, notated by August Bournonville ; music by Giacomo Meyerbeer ; reconstructed by Knud Arne Jürgensen ; Labanotation and performance notes by Ann Hutchinson Guest.
Posted 17 July 2003 - 10:21 AM
Posted 17 July 2003 - 11:02 AM
RG, I have seen only one Degas account of the nun ballet--the unutterably lovely one in the Victoria and Albert. I used to dream over it for minutes on end at every visit. I asked Knud the identical question about tutus and habits. Another, more disturbing question has occurred to me since writing to him. I have seen a photograph of statuette that shows Taglioni in "opera sandals" rather than pointe shoes. Odd, if you bear in mind the fact that the ballet inspired Adolphe Nourrit, who was singing Robert, to sketch the scenario for La Sylphide.
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