Barcarolle Barcarolle, also known as Belle nuit, ô nuit d'amour, is a piece from The Tales of Hoffmann, Jacques Offenbach's final opera. A duet for sopranoand mezzo-soprano, it is considered the most famous barcarolle ever written and described in the Grove Book of Operas as "one of the world's most popular melodies." The text, concerning the beauty of the night and of love, is by Jules Barbier. "Belle nuit" is in the 6/8 time signature characteristic of barcarolles, allegretto moderato. Approximately a minute of musical introduction occurs before the melody appears, although a flute accompaniment figure which suggests the melody, "suspend[ing] time" and creating anticipation for the melody before it begins, is played throughout the piece. Although it is sung by a juvenile male character, Nicklausse, in a "breeches role", and a female character, Giulietta, the fact of its being fundamentally a piece for two women's voices, intertwining in the same octave, means that in productions where Nicklausse has been played by a male baritone instead of a female mezzo-soprano, his part has been reassigned to a chorus soprano.
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