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Le marchand de Venise

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Le Marchand de Venise (The Merchant of Venice) is a French opera in three acts by Reynaldo Hahn. The libretto was by Miguel Zamacoïs, after Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. Hahn first started working on the opera during the First World War, imagining it as a 'Mozartian' work, with the role of Portia written specifically with the soprano Mary Garden in mind.

The opera was first performed at the Paris Opéra, on 25 March 1935.[1] It was revived at the Opéra on 18 November 1949 and again on 19 February 1950, and in 1979 at the Opéra-Comique under Manuel Rosenthal. The United States premiere was by the Portland Opera on 4 November 1996 under French conductor Marc Trautmann. In May 2017 the opera received its German premiere at the Theater Bielefeld in a production by Klaus Hemmerle conducted by Pawel Poplawski.[2]

Principal roles

Role Voice type Premiere cast, 25 March 1935
(Conductor: Philippe Gaubert)
Graziano tenor Henri Le Clezio
Lorenzo tenor Edmond Chastenet
Jessica soprano Odette Renaudin
Shylock bass André Pernet
Bassanio baritone Martial Singher
Antonio bass Paul Cabanel
Portia soprano Fanny Heldy
Nérissa mezzo-soprano Renée Mahé
Prince of Morocco bass Henri-Bertrand Etcheverry
Prince of Aragon tenor Edmond Rambaud
Doge bass Armand-Émile Narçon
Tubal bass Louis Morot
Governess mezzo-soprano Andrée Marilliet
Salarino tenor Jean DeLeu
Servant soprano E. Vial
Servant bass Jules Forest
Chorus: Maskers, Venetians, Jews etc.


The story follows Shakespeare's play, The Merchant of Venice, but with some transpositions of the text. The comic figures of Lancelot Gobbo and Old Gobbo are absent.


Some of the original role creators have left recordings of arias: (Hahn: Recordings 1908-35 with Martial Singher, Andre Pernet, Fanny Heldy, on Pearl CD 1165392).


  1. ^ Patrick O'Connor in The New Grove Dictionary of Opera gives the date as 25 March 1935.
  2. ^ Rye, Matthew. Report from Bielefeld. Opera, September 2017, Vol.68 No.9, p1159-60.
  • Casaglia, Gherardo (2005). "Le marchand de Venise". L'Almanacco di Gherardo Casaglia (in Italian).
  • O'Connor, Patrick (1992), 'Marchand de Venise, Le' in The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, ed. Stanley Sadie (London) ISBN 0-333-73432-7

External links

This page was last edited on 8 October 2020, at 09:38
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