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Hippolyte et Aricie

Jean-Philippe Rameau

A lyrical tragedy with Racinian accents, according to Rameau, in the hands of the crack team of Stéphanie D’Oustrac and Cyrille Dubois.

Emmanuelle Haïm © Marianne Rosenstiehl
Book

Cast

Cyrille Dubois Hippolyte
Mélissa Petit Aricie
Stéphanie D’Oustrac Phèdre
Edwin Crossley-Mercer  Thésée
Wenwei Zhang Pluton / Neptune
Hamida Kristoffersen Diane
Spencer Lang Tisiphone
Cast to be completed

Emmanuelle Haïm direction
Orchestra La Scintilla Zurich
Zurich Opera Choir direction Janko Kastelic

Hippolyte et Aricie is Rameau’s first opera after making his name with compositions for the harpsichord and theoretical essays. The composer struggled to find a librettist for his first foray into opera, despite the fact that he had been nursing this idea for several decades. The writer he chose was Abbé Simon-Joseph Pellegrin, a major figure in the world of letters of the day who had already worked with Destouches Desmarets, and who produced a libretto inspired by Racine’s Phèdre. It was staged in 1733 and was a great success since it was performed over 120 times between 1733 and 1767 (with a multitude of revisions over the years). Hippolyte et Aricie marks a turning point in the musician’s career and opened the door to senior positions as an official composer to the Court of Versailles. Of the thirty or so tragic lyric operas which he composed, it was his subsequent three tragedies Castor et Pollux in 1737, Dardanus in 1739 and Zoroastre ten years later which established Rameau as the true heir to Lully in the lyric tragedy mode. Emmanuelle Haïm certainly knows her Rameau and she is supported here by a team well-versed in the art of this repertoire.

Sung in French with French and English subtitles
Production Théâtre des Champs-Elysées

Blog

A Sunday with Emmanuelle Haïm

100 seconds with Stéphanie D'Oustrac

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