Les talens lyriques

Bellérophon

Synopsis

Tuesday, 25th January 2011
7 pm

  1. 25.01.2011
  2. 7:00 p.m.

Synopsis

In praise of his friend and benefactor Louis XIV, Jean-Baptiste Lully created
an all-round work of art of a quality never before seen at that time: the
tragédie lyrique: singers, chorus and dancers all performed in concert with
sets and costumes of the most lavish kind. This form of through-composed
French opera remained de rigueur until far into the 18th century, when
Rameau became the first to dare to make controversial changes. Bellérophon
was a resounding success in this new genre in 1679 and was performed
for nine months at the Palais Royal. The eponymous hero is Neptune’s
son and is happily betrothed to the Lycian princess Philonoé. But the fiery
Stenobée also desires Bellérophon and wants revenge due to his rejection
of her. Her ally, the magician Amisodar, takes three monsters and creates a
new one from them: the chimera. However, Bellérophon defeats the monster
without too much difficulty. Thwarted, Stenobée kills herself out of disappointment
and the Lycians acclaim Bellérophon whose dazzling strength
and benevolence are intended to mirror similar attributes of Louis XIV’s.