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Thésée

Jean-Baptiste Lully

The art of lyric tragedy in the French style in which Lully’s music is a natural pairing for Quinault’s verses.

Christophe Rousset
Christophe Rousset © Eric Larrayadieu
Karine Deshayes
Karine Deshayes © Aymeric Giraudel

Cast

Mathias Vidal | Thésée
Karine Deshayes | Médée
Deborah Cachet | Aeglé
Marie Lys | Cléone / Cérès / A shepherdess
Bénédicte Tauran | Minerve / La Grande Prêtresse de Minerve
Thaïs Raï | Dorine / Venus / A shepherdess
Robert Getchell | Bacchus / A pleasure / A shepherd / An old man
Fabien Hyon | A Pleasure / An Old man / A combatant
Philippe Estèphe | Egée
Guilhem Worms | Arcas / Mars / A pleasure 

Christophe Rousset | direction
Les Talens Lyriques
Chœur de chambre de Namur | direction Thibaut Lenaerts

Sung in French with French and English subtitles

To read

We owe the invention of lyric tragedy which dominated the French opera world for over a century to the Florentine composer Giovanni Battista Lulli. Although his early works (Cadmus, Alceste) still bear the traces of the blend of registers which existed at the time, notably the Italian influence, Thésée stands out as the first opus in what would become a highly codified form: an overture in the French style, an allegorical prologue praising the king, and five acts illustrating a heroic subject. The extremely concise libretto cuts straight to the chase and achieves an unprecedented unity of tone and dramatic tension. The libretto by Quinault, a superbly effective stage writer, makes a major contribution to the success of the work. The clarity of the poet’s verse is an obvious and perfect match for Lully’s music. Christophe Rousset pursues his exploration of the Lully corpus with a team of soloists equally well versed in the art of declamation and singing

Production Théâtre des Champs-Elysées 

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