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Ercole amanteNew production

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Château de Versailles: Royal Opera HousePlace d’Armes Entrance at the Gate of Honour, Paris, Île-de-France, 78000, France
November 23 19:00, November 24 15:00
Raphaël PichonConductor
Valérie LesortDirector
Laurent PeduzziSet Designer
Vanessa SanninoCostume Designer
Giulia SemenzatoSopranoCinzia, La bellezza, Venere
Nahuel Di PierroBass-baritoneErcole
Giuseppina BridelliMezzo-sopranoDeianira
Krystian AdamTenorHyllo
Francesca AspromonteSopranoIole
Anna BonitatibusMezzo-sopranoGiunone
Dominique VisseCountertenorLicco
Eugénie LefevbreSopranoShade of Queen Clerica
Ray ChenezCountertenorPaggio
Nicolas BrooymansBassShade of Bussiride
Luca TittotoBaritoneEutyro, Nettuno
Ensemble Pygmalion

Louis XIV’s wedding in 1660 was the occasion for many celebrations everywhere in the kingdom. Mazarin wanted to mark this major event, which also symbolised the return of peace. He asked Cavalli, the most famous Italian opera composer of the time, to create a magnificent opera where the young king could be identified an antique hero, while exalting his amorous virtues.

Cavalli came to France in 1660, composed Ercole AmanteHercules in love – but had to wait until 1662 to see it first performed. It is an extraordinary work: an Italian opera with a large orchestra in the French style, and ballets, which the court enjoyed, and in which the King performed. Hercules in love with pretty Iola, is Deianira’s husband. Iola is also loved by their son Hyllus. Who will win, Venus who favours love or Juno who protects marriage? Hercules in love or strength allied to attraction, there couldn’t be a more flattering subject to celebrate the marriage of young Louis XIV with the Spanish Infanta – between his harrowing separation from Marie Mancini in 1659, and his blossoming love for Madame de La Vallière from 1661…

The work mingles mythology, human passions and natural and cosmic phenomena. At the same time a court ballet, a composition with theatre machinery and a baroque multifaceted opera, it inspired the young ballet master Lully… Valérie Lesort and Christian Hecq bring freshness and fantasy to baroque art in response to the enchantments that 18th century audiences enjoyed so much. And Raphael Pichon will deploy the beauty of this extremely rare work with an ideal cast.

Coproduction: Opéra Comique, Royal Opera / Château de Versailles Spectacles

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