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PsycheIn concert

Château de Versailles: Royal Opera HousePlace d’Armes Entrance at the Gate of Honour, Paris, Île-de-France, 78000, Frankreich
Am Sonntag 26 Januar 2020 um 15:00

"Psyche (1675) is claimed to be the future model of the opera genre, a new attempt to unite theatre and music. King Charles II, wishing to place himself on par with Louis XIV’s artistic splendor, asked Matthew Locke to create the first English opera.

Composed on a translation of Molière, Corneille and Quinault’s libretto, which had been used for Lully’s Psyche, the English Psyche does not adhere to the Italian model nor to new French tragedy in music inaugurated the previous year (Cadmus and Hermione by Lully): it is in reality the very first semi-opera, where lyrical art – with the first English recitative – cohabits in harmony with theatre.

The magnificence of the cast (probably more than a hundred artists for the creation), the beauty of the music, the creativity involved make Psyche an unknown monument in the history of English music and a source from which Blow and Purcell would draw directly. “ Since 2016, the Ensemble Correspondances has chosen to approach the opera through its less well-known repertory, first Charpentier’s sacred stories on stage, then a court ballet – the genre preceding opera in France – combining music, circus, poetry, machines, decors, costumes, ballet…

In 2019, we selected this English Psyche, with many similarities with the Royal Ballet of Night. Presented as a model of the genre, this work comes at a junction in the history of English music: between court masquerade and Italianate opera of the 18th century, the semi-opera opened the way to the leading composers of the Restoration (Blow and Purcell first and foremost). As for the Royal Ballet of Night, but for other reasons, only Locke’s partition has survived (Draghi’s, which had many dances, was lost). We had to draw from 17th century English theatre musical repertory to recompose entirely this Psyche, which now owes certainly more to Matthew Locke than the original!"

- Sébastien Daucé -

Surtitles in French and English

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