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Lully: Alceste

Summary

Opera in concert version
  • Tuesday January 30th 2024
  • Royal Opera
  • 8pm | 3h15 with intermission
Accueil Lully: Alceste 2024

Cast

  • Véronique Gens Alceste
  • Cyril Auvity Admète
  • Nathan Berg Alcide
  • Camille Poul The Nymph of the Tuileries
  • Guilhem Worms Lycomède, Charon
  • Juliette Mey Proserpine, Diane, Thétis, The Nymph of the Marne
  • Léo Vermot-Desroches Lycas, Phérès, Alecton, Apollon
  • Claire Lefilliâtre La Gloire, Une Femme affligée Glory, An Afflicted Woman
  • Cécile Achille A Nymph, A Shadow, The Nymph of the Seine
  • Geoffroy Buffière Cléante, Straton, Pluton, Éole
  • Chœur de l’Opéra Royal
  • Les Épopées
  • Stéphane Fuget Conductor
  • Lucile de Trémiolles Choir director

Presentation

Lully’s second opera, Alceste or The Triumph of Alcide, was first performed in January 1674. With Cadmus et Hermione the previous year, he had gifted the first lyric tragedy to Louis XIV, whetting the royal appetite. Then came Alceste, Lully’s first masterpiece. The king was won over from the start: he asked that rehearsals take place at Versailles and was so enthusiastic that “the king declared that if he were in Paris during the performances, he would go to hear them every evening”.

 

The genius of Lully and his librettist Quinault lay in expressing love and power in a way that could not fail to captivate the young king: the beautiful Alceste, promised to the glorious king Admete, is desired by Hercules posing as Alcide. Fatally wounded in combat, King Admete can only be saved if someone else takes his place in the Underworld. Alceste sacrifices herself for love. Alcide/Hercules promised Admete that he will bring Alceste back from the Underworld on the condition that she become his. Upon returning from the Underworld, Alcide/Hercules is so moved by the lovers’ farewell that he renounces Alceste and allows her to return to Admete.

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Stéphane Fuguet, widely acclaimed for his complete recordings of Lully’s Grand Motets, imbues this tragedy with all the lyricism of Lully’s royal gift to Louis XIV.

 

With the exceptional support of the ADOR – The Friends of the Royal Opera

 

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Programme

First part: 1h20

Intermission 

Second part: 1h13

 

Lyric tragedy in five acts with prologue to a libretto by Philippe Quinault, premièred at the Jeu de Paume de Bel-Air in Paris in 1674.

Concert in French with French and English surtitles.

The Royal Opera of the Château de Versailles

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