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Gluck: Echo and Narcissus


Opera in concert version
  • Friday October 21st 2022
  • Royal Opera
  • 8pm | 1h30 without intermission
Accueil Gluck: Echo and Narcissus 2022


Adriana González Echo

Cyrille Dubois Narcissus

Caroline Jestaedt Amour

Sahy Ratia Cynire

Cécile Achille Eglé

Adèle Carlier Aglaé

Laura Jarrell Thanaïs

Lucie Edel Sylphie

Le Concert SpirituelChoir and Orchestra

Hervé Niquet Conductor



After five consecutive triumphs at the Paris Opera since 1774, which secured his place as the reformer of French lyrical art, the Chevalier Gluck, also known as the Bohemian Juggler, was adored by the public and protected by Queen Marie Antoinette. The new commission from the Royal Academy of Music would also be his last work: Echo and Narcissus, based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses, premiered in Paris in 1779. With a style more pastoral than heroic tragedy, it puzzled the audience who came to witness another innovative feat by Gluck: instead, it was mainly a homage to the splendor of the French tradition that he composed. Disappointed by this reception, Gluck returned to Vienna and ceased composing.

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Since then, Echo and Narcissus has awaited the chance to be heard and appreciated by the public once again. It was the collaboration between the Concert Spirituel and the Etrillard Foundation, whose mission is to rediscover forgotten works, that brought Gluck’s opera out of the shadows. This event also presents an opportunity to have music and the art of tapestry, embodied by two pieces from the Etrillard Foundation’s collection, converse on the same theme. These pieces are Narcissus Admiring His Reflection, produced around 1630 based on a design by Simon Vouet, and Narcissus and Echo, woven at the Gobelins manufactory around 1700 after Antoine Dieu. These two works will be presented to the public during the concert at the Royal Opera.


Hervé Niquet and a brilliant cast revive Gluck’s ultimate work for recording and concert. The fates of the nymph Echo, who can only repeat endlessly the last word she hears, and the proud Narcissus, condemned to love only his own reflection, truly deserve a baroque opera.


With the support of the Etrillard Foundation, the Meeschaert group, and the LFPI group

Production Le Concert Spirituel

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Lyric drama in three acts with a prologue, based on a libretto by Jean-Baptiste-Louis-Théodore de Tschudi, after Ovid’s Metamorphoses, premiered at the Royal Academy of Music in Paris in 1779.


Concert in French with French surtitles

The Royal Opera of the Château de Versailles

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And also…

2CD GLUCK – ECHO and Narcissus

Hervé Niquet and the Concert Spirituel brilliantly resurrect Gluck’s ultimate work. This work, once scorned for its pastoral style, is a tribute to the splendour of the French tradition. A refined work finally brought out of oblivion.
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