OP2919. DJAMILEH (Bizet)(in Russian), recorded 1937, w.Orlov Cond. USSR Radio Ensemble; Ludmila Legostaeva, Anton Tkachenko & Vladimir Zakharov. (Russia) Aquarius AQVR 384. - 4607123631492
“DJAMILEH is an opéra comique in one act by Georges Bizet to a libretto by Louis Gallet, based on an oriental tale, Namouna, by Alfred de Musset. De Musset wrote NAMOUNA in 1832. In 1871 when Bizet was stalled on other projects for the stage, Camille du Locle, director of the Opéra-Comique, suggested to him a piece written some years earlier by Louis Gallet based on NAMOUNA. After some hesitation, Bizet composed the work during the late summer of 1871 but the premiere production was delayed due to trouble in finding suitable singers.
The original production formed part of a trio of new short works at the Opéra-Comique that spring: Paladilhe's LE PASSANT, then DJAMILEH, and LA PRINCESSE JAUNE (also an orientalist work) by Saint-Saëns.
DJAMILEH received its first performance on 22 May 1872 at the Opéra-Comique, Paris. Although du Locle had lavished great care on the costumes and sets, after ten performances in 1872 it was not revived in Paris until 27 October 1938. Outside France productions were mounted in Stockholm (1889), Rome (1890), and Dublin, Prague, Manchester and Berlin (1892).
The opera has been neglected for most of its existence, despite the admiration it received from both Gustav Mahler, who after introducing it in Hamburg (21 October 1892), conducted nineteen performances of it at the Vienna State Opera between 1898 (first performance there 22 January 1898) and 1903, and Richard Strauss, who viewed it as a source of inspiration for ARIADNE AUF NAXOS.”
- Loyal Bluto