Collegium 1704 / Les Boreades 1280x680 © Petra Hajska

Content / Background

An opera for those with an interest in meteorology: Alphise, Queen of Bactria, is a prisoner of her position because it only allows her to choose a husband from the family of Boreas, the god of the North Wind, although she has fallen in love with Abaris, an orphan whose origins are unknown. For him she even gives up the crown.  But this does not help her: her two suitors, Borileas and Calisis, sons of Boreas,  quarrel over the vacated throne. In the end, the god Boreas himself has to intervene. He raises a storm to devastate Bactria and abducts Alphise to his cold realm,  intending to torture her there with bad weather until she finally chooses one of his  sons as her husband. However, he has underestimated Abaris, his “no-name”  adversary... Les Boréades is the final work by Jean-Philippe Rameau. It was never  performed in his lifetime, maybe because of the progressive ideas. The first stage  production was not until 1982 in Aix-en-Provence.