Bru Zane Classical Radio broadcasts on Sunday 16 July at 9 p.m. Thérèse (1907), drame musical in two acts by Jules Massenet (1842-1912).

Text by Jules Claretie
First performed at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, on 7 February

Alain Altinoglu conductor
Jocelyne Dienst coach master
Noëlle Gény choirmaster

Nora Gubisch Thérèse
Charles Castronovo Armand de Clerval
Étienne Dupuis André Thorel
François Lis Morel
Yves Saelens Un Officier
Patrick Bolleire Un Officier / Un Officier municipal
Charles Bonnet Une Voix

Although Thérèse was possibly originally intended for the stage of the Opéra-Comique (Salle Favart) in Paris, it was first performed in Monte Carlo on 7 February 1907 (…). Exceptionally, the fact that Thérèse had its first performance outside Paris did not make it into a minor event in French musical life. Indeed, early in 1907 Le Ménestrel – the influential music journal directed by Heugel, who also happened to be Massenet’s publisher – announced the composition of Thérèse amidst a blaze of publicity, and the piano reduction (along with numerous transcriptions aimed at amateur musicians of the ‘Menuet d’amour’) was available even before the first performance took place. Lucy Arbell (Thérèse), Hector Dufranne (André Thorel) and Edmond Clément (Armand de Clerval) took the principal roles at the première, which, although it was not reported in detail by the musical press, was unanimously hailed as a success. (…) Although the piano reduction was played in the salons and short excerpts from the work were heard in the concert halls of the capital from 1907, Thérèse was not staged in Paris until after it had been seen in many other Places (…).

Excerpt of a text by Étienne Jardin

English translations © 2013 Mary Pardoe