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Le comte Ory is a comic opera written by Gioachino Rossini in 1828. Some of the music originates from his opera Il viaggio a Reims written three years earlier for the coronation of Charles X.[1] The French libretto was by Eugène Scribe and Charles-Gaspard Delestre-Poirson adapted from a comedy they had first written in 1817.

Le comte Ory
Opera by Gioachino Rossini
Le comte Ory - Dubois & chez Martinet - Final scene.jpg
Final scene, in 1828
20 August 1828 (1828-08-20)

The work is ostensibly a comic opera in that the story is humorous, even farcical. However, it was devised for the Opéra rather than for the Théâtre de l'Opéra-Comique and there are structural inconsistencies with the contemporary opéra comique genre: whereas the latter consists of relatively short lyrical numbers and spoken dialogue, Le Comte Ory consists of "highly developed, even massive musical forms linked by accompanied recitative.[2] Although the opera contains some of Rossini's most colorful orchestral writing, the quaint, brief overture is oddly restrained and unassuming, ending with a whisper of pizzicato strings.

Performance historyEdit

It was first performed on 20 August 1828 at the Salle Le Peletier by the Paris Opera. It was given in London at the King's Theatre in Italian on 28 February 1829, in New Orleans at the Théâtre d'Orléans on 16 December 1830 and in New York on 22 August 1831.[2]

The work receives numerous productions at opera houses around the world.[3] In April 2011 the opera received its premiere performances at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The cast included Juan Diego Flórez, Diana Damrau and Joyce DiDonato, singing in a new production directed by Bartlett Sher. In 2013, that production was revived with Juan Diego Flórez repeating his role, but with a different supporting cast.[4]


Role Voice type Premiere Cast, 20 August 1828
(Conductor: François Habeneck)[5]
Count Ory tenor Adolphe Nourrit
Tutor bass Nicolas Levasseur
Isolier mezzo-soprano (en travesti) Constance Jawureck
Raimbaud baritone Henri-Bernard Dabadie
La Comtesse Adèle coloratura soprano Laure Cinti-Damoreau
Ragonde mezzo-soprano Augusta Mori
Alice soprano
1st Knight tenor Alexis Dupont
2nd Knight tenor Jean-Étienne-Auguste Massol
3rd Knight baritone Henri-Bernard Dabadie the younger
4th Knight baritone Ferdinand Prévôt
Chorus of Ory's men, ladies, crusaders, peasants


Time: Circa 1200, during the Crusades
Place: Touraine

Act 1Edit

The countryside before the castle of Formoutiers

The lords and men of Formoutiers have been away on a crusade. Count Ory, who is in love with the countess Adèle, takes advantage of the situation. Hoping to win her hand, he disguises himself as a hermit aided by Raimbaud, his friend. Raimbaud announces that a wise hermit will visit the village to offer advice on matters of the heart. The castle is filled with women waiting for their husbands to return from the crusades. Ory's page Isolier is in love with the countess. Isolier confides his love to the "hermit" (Count Ory in disguise) and explains his plan to sneak into the castle disguised as a female pilgrim.

The countess consults the hermit about a cure for her melancholia. He proposes that she fall in love, which she promptly does, with Isolier. The "hermit" warns her not to trust the page. Everyone is shocked when the Tutor reveals Ory's identity. The countess receives a letter announcing her brother's return.

Act 2Edit

A large room in the castle

The countess and her attendants admit a group of female pilgrims awaiting their husbands' return from the crusade. This time the pilgrims are actually Ory and his men in disguise. Ory's new disguise is as "Sister Colette." Missing something to drink with dinner, Raimbaud breaks into the castle wine cellar and returns with enough for everyone. They toast the countess's absent brother. Isolier recognizes Ory and reveals his identity to Adèle. Isolier also tells the waiting women that their husbands will be back by midnight.

After everyone is in bed, Ory enters countess Adèle's room. He woos her, not realizing in the dark that it is Isolier's hand he is holding. The men return from the crusade. Isolier reveals himself and helps Count Ory escape from the castle.


Year Cast:
Le comte Ory,
La comtesse Adèle,
Le Gouverneur
chorus and orchestra
Label [6]
HMV studio recording
Juan Oncina,
Sari Barabas,
Cora Canne-Meijer,
Monica Sinclair,
Michel Roux,
Ian Wallace
Vittorio Gui
Glyndebourne Festival Chorus and Orchestra
audio CD: Urania, cat: WS 121109;
and EMI (2 LPs), cat: RLS 744 (mono)
live in Torino
Michel Sénéchal,
Sari Barabas,
Cora Canne-Meijer,
Monica Sinclair,
Robert Massard
Vittorio Gui
Chorus and Orchestra of RAI Torino
audio CD: Arkadia, cat: MP 458.2;
and Living Stage, cat: LS 4035130
live in New York
Rockwell Blake,
Ashley Putnam,
Faith Esham,
Jane Shaulis,
David Holloway
Imre Palló
Chorus and Orchestra of New York City Opera
audio CD: Celestial Audio, cat: CA 368
studio recording
John Aler,
Sumi Jo,
Diana Montague,
Raquel Pierotti,
Gino Quilico,
Gilles Cachemaille
John Eliot Gardiner
Choeur et Orchestre de l’Opéra de Lyon
audio CD: Philips Classics Records, cat: 422 406-2
filmed at Aix-en-Provence,
stage-directed by Marcel Maréchal
William Matteuzzi,
Sumi Jo,
Marie-Ange Todorovitch,
Nadine Chery,
Jean-Luc Chaignaud,
Gregory Reinhart
Evelino Pidò
Choeur du Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, and Orchestre Européen du Festival
DVD: Premiere Opera
filmed at Glyndebourne,
stage-directed by Jérôme Savary
Marc Laho,
Annick Massis,
Diana Montague,
Jane Shaulis,
Ludovic Tézier,
Julien Robbins
Andrew Davis
Glyndebourne Festival Chorus and the London Philharmonic Orchestra
DVD: NVC Arts, cat: 0630 18646-2;
and Kultur, cat: D 2983
live at Bad Wildbad
Huw Rhys-Evans,
Linda Gerrard,
Luisa Islam-Ali-Zade,
Luca Salsi,
Gloria Montanari,
Wojtek Gierlach
Brad Cohen
Czech Philharmonic Choir (from Brno) and the Czech Chamber Soloists
audio CD: Naxos Records
live in Pesaro
Juan Diego Flórez,
Stefania Bonfadelli,
Marie-Ange Todorovitch,
Bruno Praticò,
Marina De Liso,
Alastair Miles
Jesús López Cobos
Coro da Camera di Praga (chorus master Lubomír Mátl) and Orchestra of Teatro Comunale di Bologna
audio CD: Deutsche Grammophon
filmed in New York,
stage-directed by Bartlett Sher
Juan Diego Flórez,
Diana Damrau,
Joyce DiDonato,
Stéphane Degout,
Susanne Resmark,
Michele Pertusi
Maurizio Benini
Chorus and Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera
DVD: Virgin Classics
filmed in Zurich,
stage-directed by Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier
Javier Camarena,
Cecilia Bartoli,
Rebeca Olvera,
Liliana Nikiteanu,
Oliver Widmer,
Ugo Guagliardo
Muhai Tang
Chorus of Zurich Opera and Orchesta La Scintilla (Zurich)
DVD: Decca, cat: 001808509



  1. ^ Osborne, Charles 1994, p.18.
  2. ^ a b Gossett 2001, p. 793
  3. ^ list of top operas ranked by number of performances given during the 2008/09 to 2012/13 seasons. Retrieved 9 April 2011
  4. ^ Met Opera website
  5. ^ Almanacco di Gherardo Casaglia, 20 Agosto, 1828, retrieved 18 November 2012
  6. ^ Recordings of Le comte Ory on

Cited sources

  • Gossett, Philip; Brauner, Patricia (2001), " Le comte Ory " in Holden, Amanda (ed.), The New Penguin Opera Guide, New York: Penguin Putnam. ISBN 0-14-029312-4
  • Osborne, Charles (1994), The Bel Canto Operas of Rossini, Donizetti, and Bellini, London: Methuen; Portland, Oregon: Amadeus Press. ISBN 0931340713


External linksEdit