The plot is negligible; characterization and action almost nil; and the arias nondescript. This, surprisingly, doesn’t matter.
Tragédie lyrique in 5 actsComposer: Jean-Philippe RameauLibretto: Charles Antoine Le Clerc de la BruèreFirst performed : Académie royale de musique, Paris, 19 November 1739 (revised 23 April 1744) The tragédie lyrique, with its emphasis on text and ballet, bewildered foreigners: Burney considered the form “displeasing to all ears but those of France, which had been nursed … Continue reading 134. Dardanus (Rameau)
Opéra-ballet in a prologue and 4 entréesComposer : Jean-Philippe RameauLibretto : Louis FuzelierFirst performed : Académie royale de musique, Paris, 23 August 1735 "La terre, les cieux, et les mers / nous offrent tour-à-tour cent spectacles divers." Les Indes galantes offers plenty of spectacle : it's an all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza, a round-the-world trip full of ceremonies, storms, shipwrecks, … Continue reading 130. Les Indes galantes (Rameau)
Tragédie en musique in 5 actsComposer: Jean-Philippe RameauLibretto: Gentil-BernardFirst performed: Académie royale de musique (1re salle du Palais-Royal), 24 October 1737 ; revised 1754 Of all Rameau's operas, Claude Debussy most admired Castor et Pollux, and, on his deathbed, he regretted he was unable to attend a performance. Since 1903, Debussy had held up Rameau (and … Continue reading 129. Castor et Pollux (Rameau)
HIPPOLYTE ET ARICIETragédie lyrique in 5 actes and a prologueComposer: Jean-Philippe RameauLibrettist: Abbé PellegrinFirst performed: Académie Royale de Musique at its theatre in the Palais-Royal, Paris, 1 October 1733Halte-là! Are you a Ramiste or a Lulliste? And shall we fight a duel?Those were serious questions in early 18th century France. Society was bitterly divided between those … Continue reading 87. Hippolyte et Aricie (Jean-Philippe Rameau)