Les mariages samnites

Les mariages samnites (The Samnite Marriages) is an opéra comique, described as a drame lyrique, in three acts by André Grétry, The French text was by Barnabé Farmain de Rosoi based on a work by Jean François Marmontel.

Performance historyEdit

It was first performed on 12 June 1776 by the Comédie-Italienne (the name of the Opéra-Comique at that time) at the Hôtel de Bourgogne in Paris.


Role Voice type Premiere Cast,[1] 12 June 1776
(Conductor: - )
Agathis, in love with Céphalide tenor Jean-Baptiste Guignard, called Clairval
Parmenon, friend of Agathis tenor M Julien
Eumene, father of Agathis basse-taille (bass-baritone) Pierre-Marie Narbonne
Céphalide soprano Marie-Jean Trial, née Milon
Éliane, friend of Céphalide soprano Marie-Thérèse-Théodore Rombocoli-Riggieri, called 'Mlle Colombe l'Aînée'
Euphémie, mother of Céphalide soprano Louise-Frédérique Moulinghen, née Schrœder
The Chief of the Elders basse-taille Philippe-Thomas Ménier (also spelt Meunier)
The General M Labussière
Two Samnite girls Sophie Dufayel (ainée) and Marie Desbrosses


  1. ^ Cast list is from the 1776 livret.


Period sourcesEdit

  • Original libretto: Les Mariages Samnites, Drame lyrique en 3 Actes et en Prose (new edition), Paris, Duchesne, 1776 (accessible for free online at Gallica - B.N.F.
  • Period printed score: Les Mariages Samnites Drame lyrique en 3 Actes et en Prose, Paris, Dezauche, s.d. (accessible for free online at Gallica - B.N.F.)

Modern sourcesEdit

  • Michel Brenet Grétry: sa vie et ses œuvres (F. Hayez, 1884)
  • David Charlton Grétry and the Growth of Opéra Comique (Cambridge University Press, 1986)
  • Ronald Lessens Grétry ou Le triomphe de l'Opéra-Comique (L'Harmattan, 2007)
  • Mariages samnites, Les by Michael Fend, in 'The New Grove Dictionary of Opera', ed. Stanley Sadie (London, 1992) ISBN 0-333-73432-7
  • Kutsch, K. J. and Riemens, Leo (2003). Großes Sängerlexikon (fourth edition, in German). Munich: K. G. Saur. ISBN 978-3-598-11598-1.