The first Italian performance of a French tragédie en musique, ARMIDA OPERA MUSICALE Tradotta dal Francese, senza mutar le note del Famoso Gio : Battista Lulli (Rome 1690), has until now been shrouded in mystery. Neither the translator nor the location or circumstances of performance are apparent from the French-Italian libretto. Both Silvio Stampiglia, the renowned Arcadian librettist, and Jacques D'Alibert, the founder of the first public theatre in Rome, the Tor di Nona, have been suggested as translators, but the evidence is unconvincing. Doubts have even been raised as to whether Lully's masterpiece has ever in fact been performed in public. Hitherto unknown documents in the Bibliothèque Municipale d'Avignon throw new light on the Roman scene. Jean Bertet, an excommunicated Jesuit scholar, translated a total of seven tragédies en musique for the French cardinal De Bouillon (Amadis, Roland, Armide, Le temple de la Paix, Idylle sur la Paix, Achille et Polyxène, Acis et Galathée). These caused a stir all the way from Rome to Paris. Their public performance became a propaganda tool for the French Ambassador the Duc de Chaulnes, who resided in one of the most beautiful (no longer extant) baroque palaces in Rome. The previously unpublished translation of Jean Racine's Idylle sur la Paix is edited here from the autograph manuscript (Bibliothèque Municipale d'Avignon, MS 1991)..
Le livret en question
Adrian La Salvia
Die erste Auffürung einer Tragédie en musique in Italien : Armida (ROM 1690)