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Isis, LWV54In concert

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Château de Versailles: Royal Opera HousePlace d’Armes Entrance at the Gate of Honour, Paris, Île-de-France, 78000, France
On Tuesday 10 December 2019 at 20:00
Christophe RoussetConductor
Bénédicte TauranSopranoFame, Melpomene, Juno, Mycene
Robert GetchellTenorApollo
Ambroisine BréMezzo-sopranoCalliope, Iris
Ève-Maud HubeauxMezzo-sopranoThalia, Isis
Philippe EstèpheBaritoneNeptune, Argus
Edwin Crossley-MercerBaritoneJupiter, Pan
Aimery LefèvreBassHierax
Fabien HyonBaritoneMercury
Les Talens Lyriques
Chœur de chambre de Namur

"The creation of Isis in 1677 before the court triggered strong reactions. The plot features again unfaithful Jupiter, courting the nymph Io and berated by his spouse Juno. The libretto takes the characters into a series of quirky and fantastic adventures, where the god Pan creates his famous flute, Mercury turns Hierax, Io’s fiancé, into a bird and Io descends into Inferno.

The public immediately read it as a caricature of Madame de Montespan’s jealous attitude to Madame de Ludres, the King’s latest favourite. The performances were interrupted and Quinault was exiled for two years.

History remembered the anecdote, depriving the work of the success it deserved. Lully deployed unprecedented refinement, chiseling the musical structures of pieces, using well-known motifs, inventing descriptive techniques – such as “tremblers” to express cold, used later by Purcell, Vivaldi and Salieri – showing a remarkably original verve in the suggestion of emotions and characters."

- Bénédicte Hertz -

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