Theatre & Opera Magazine

Remembering Gluck on His Dying Day

Posted on the 15 November 2011 by Galegirl

Not much of the opera seen today was written prior to the eighteenth century. Gluck is one of the earliest pre-Mozart composers whose work endures. Quite a triumph when you consider how many other operas and composers have disappeared from the repertoire.

As J. Merrill Knapp observed, “Gluck’s works pointed to the future. They still represent a signficant landmark in the chronicle of opera.”

According to, there are 14 European performances of Gluck’s lesser-known one-act opera  L’Ivrogne Corrigé (The Reformed Drunkard) through February 2012.  The plot centers around a merchant who loves his drink and will not allow his niece to marry her sweetheart because he has promised her to a drinking buddy. The merchant learns his lesson when his family make him believe he has died during a bender and gone to the underworld.

Peabody Opera Workshop did  L’Ivrogne Corrigé two years ago, but perhaps because of it being only one act and having a paper-thin plot, it’s not often performed in the U.S.

But the rare work intrigued me, so here is a video of one of arias from L’Ivrogne Corrigé sung by soprano Claudine Collart.

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