André-Ernest-Modeste Grétry – Lucile
(b. Liège, 11 February 1741 – d. Montmorency, 24 September 1813)
Lucile (1769) is the sixth opera by André Ernest Modeste Grétry. It was his fourth opera written to a libretto by Jean-François Marmontel (1723-1799), and the partners’ second to be premiered by the Comédie-Italienne in Paris. Lucile was also separately produced that same year at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, where it became a frequently repeated audience favorite, and was also produced in Maestricht (1774), Toulouse (1786, 1788), and Moscow (1787).
Although less well-known today, Lucile was the first of Grétry’s long-running operatic hits, and his most-performed opera throughout the 1770s. Only in the next decade was it eclipsed by the successes of newer works like Richard Coeur-de-lion (1784) and L’épreuve villageoise (1784). Even then, however, Lucile found ways of returning to the spotlight. After a long absence from the Parisian stage, it re-entered the repertoire of the Comédie-Italienne in 1789, and continued to have occasional performances during the early years of the French Revolution. That Grétry named his second daughter (born three years after the eponymous opera’s premiere) Lucile may be a reflection of the opera’s significance to the composer. …
Read full preface > HERE