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Lodoiska is an 18th century theatrical work in three acts, variously referred to as an opera, a musical drama or a melodrama.

The title is also written Lodoïska in some cases.

The original text

There are four stage versions of this tale (plus a ballet apparently), all based (directly or indirectly) on an episode from Jean-Baptiste Louvet de Couvrai’s novel, Les amours du chevalier de Faublas (Paris, 1787).

Translations and adaptations

Lodoïska, is an opera by Luigi Cherubini to a French libretto by Claude-François Fillette-Loraux which takes the form of a comédie héroïque (a type of opéra-comique[1]) in three acts, firsxt perfrormed in the Théâtre Feydeau in Paris on 18 July 1791.

In 1791 De Jaure (Jean-Claude Bédéno Dejaure, 1761-1790) wrote Lodoiska, a French prose comedy in three acts, set to music by Rodolphe Kreutzer (1766-1831), which was performed and published in Paris, in August of 1791.

In 1794 John Philip Kemble produced an English version of the opera. By his own admission it was based on the French libretto of De Jaure, a play he had seen in Paris, and which he called Lodoiska. He referred to as "an opera in three acts" in most published versions and sources. (Though the second edition has the title as: Songs in Lodoiska, a musical romance"). The music was basically pirated from the other versions, having been "composed, and selected from Cherubini, Kreutzer, and Andreozzi, by Mr. Storace". Perfomed, for the first time by His Majesty's Servants, at the Theatre Royal, Drury-Lane, on Monday, June 9th 1794. Printed by G. G. and J. Robinson in 1794.(The Kemble English version was first performed in New York on 4 December 1826.)

In 1796 Simon Mayr also composed a three act opera he called La Lodoiska, with an Italian libretto by Francesco Gonella De Ferrari. It opened La Fenice in Venice on 26 January 1796. He later revised it and turned it into a two act version, which played at La Scala on 26 December 1799.

in 1796 a Dutch translation of the De Jaure version, by Bartholomeus Ruloffs, was performed at the Nationaalen Stads Schouwburg in Amesterdam and published by Helders and Mars in the same year.

Performance history in South Africa

1828: According to an announcement on 3 September, the Kemble version was in preparation by The South African Amateurs (Honi Soit qui Mal y Pense) for a performance in Cape Town, to take place in "about ten days". Apparently the production did not take place and this announcement was actually the last heard of the company.

1830: An overture from Lodoiska was performed in the African Theatre, Cape Town by the English Theatrical Amateur Company on 1 May , as part of a musical concert performed as a Benefit for Mr White, the Professor of Music. The plays performed were The Weathercock (Forrest) and The Citizen (Murphy).





Facsimile of the 1794 text, Hathi Trust, Internet Archive[2]

Facsimile of the 1824 English text, Google eBook[ https://books.google.co.za/books?id=-FxVAAAAcAAJ&pg=PR8&lpg=PR8&dq=lodoiska+by+Kemble&source=bl&ots=MBcWIVMOmK&sig=cJKLhHlc1NfKvb6DjlnYv2lxoDk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=kuAxVdeGGZOR7Ab__4CoDA&ved=0CD4Q6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=lodoiska%20by%20Kemble&f=false]

Facsimile of the Dutch text of 1796, Google eBook[3]

F.C.L. Bosman. 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [4]: pp. 203, 299,

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