Adam de la Hale

About 1240-1287

The best known of the French Troubadours, called The Hunchback of Arras. He was a gifted poet and a composer of high importance. His works are said to be of the greatest value for the musical history of the times in which he lived. Many of these, which have been preserved, were published in 1872, by Coussemaker. He wrote the text as well as the music of his compositions. He is the author of the earliest known comic opera, which is, Le Jeu de Robin et de Marion. This piece has eleven characters. It is written in dialogue, is divided into scenes and is interspersed with airs and a kind of duet, in which two voices sing alternately but never together. A performance of this first comic opera was given at Arras, in 1896, at fetes in honor of the composer. He also wrote thirty-four chansons, seventeen rondeaux, seventeen motets, and sixteen part-songs.