Charpentier: Médée

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March 2023



Act 1

Jason and Médée (Medea), pursued by the people of Thessaly because of Médée's crimes, have sought refuge in Corinth. Médée is worried that Jason is growing distant from her. Jason claims he needs to win the good graces of the princess Créuse so her doting father, King Créon, will protect them. He suggests that Médée should give Créuse a beautiful robe as a present. After Médée leaves, Jason confides that he is really in love with Créuse but fears Médée's reaction. Créuse is due to be married to Oronte, prince ofArgos, who now arrives in Corinth with his army. However, King Créon tells Jason that he would prefer him as a son-in-law. Jason leads the combined Corinthian and Argive army to victory against the Thessalians.


Act 2

Créon tells Médée he will not hand her over to her enemies but she must leave Corinth. Jason and his children by her will stay. Médée protests that she only committed those crimes out of love for Jason, but Créon replies that the Corinthian people want her to leave. Médée hands over her children to Créuse. Créuse confesses her love to Jason.


Act 3

Oronte promises Médée refuge in Argos if she can arrange a marriage between him and Créuse. She tells him that the only reason she is being banished is so Jason can be free to marry Créuse. They must combine forces to prevent this happening. Jason pleads with Médée that he is only acting in the best interests of their children. Left alone, Médée resorts to witchcraft and summons demons from the underworld who bring her a poisoned robe for Créuse.


Act 4

Jason admires the beauty of Créuse's new robe. Oronte finally realises that what Médée had said is true: Créuse will marry Jason, not him. Médée vows that Créuse will never be Jason's bride. Créon arrives and is angered that Médée has not yet left Corinth. He orders his guards to seize her but she conjures up spirits of beautiful women who seduce the guards away. Then she uses her magic powers to drive the king insane.


Act 5

Médée rejoices at her success and plans to take her vengeance to an extreme by murdering her own children by Jason. Créuse begs her to spare Corinth, even pledging to renounce her wedding to Jason if she does so. News arrives of Créon's madness and death. Médée touches Créuse's poisoned robe with her wand and it bursts into flame. Créuse dies in Jason's arms. Jason swears revenge on Médée, who now appears in a flying chariot pulled by dragons to announce she has stabbed their children. She leaves as the palace of Corinth bursts into flames.

Program and cast

Veronique People | Medea
Cyril Dubois | Jason
Judith van Wanroij | Dig
Thomas Dolie | Creon
David Witczak | Orontes
Helene Carpentier | Victory / Nérine / Love
Chloé Briot | Glory / An Italian / Cléone
Adrien Fournaison | The Chief of the people / An inhabitant / An Argien / Revenge
Floriane Hasler | Bellona
David Tricou | A Shepherd / The First Corinthian / An Argive / The Third Captive /
A Demon / The Third Ghost
Fabien Hyon | A Shepherd / Arcas / The Second Corinthian / Jealousy
Jehanne Amzal | The first shepherdess / The first captive / The first ghost
Marine Lafdal-Franc | The second shepherdess / The second captive / The second ghost

Hervé Niquet | direction
Orchestra and choir Le Concert Spirituel

Opera sung in French, surtitled in French and English

Théâtre des Champs-Élysées

The Théâtre des Champs- Elysées is undoubtedly one of the finest venues in Paris . Built in 1913 , it has the distinction of having been designed by a group of artists architects Henry Van de Velde and Auguste Perret , the painter and sculptor Antoine Bourdelle , the painter Maurice Denis , and the crystal- René Lalique to do mention the main ones . He was the first Parisian theater to be built entirely of reinforced concrete.


Restoration of the Great Hall devoted to operatic performances , symphony concerts and dance was decided in 1985. Two years later , on 23 September 1987, the theater reopened its doors , completely renovated. Fifteen years after this important work it was decided to undertake a new renovation campaign , but to prevent the complete closure of the theater for an entire season , work is now carried by step during the summer . Then it is to replace aging equipment , to remedy wear certain parts of the theater and improve spectator comfort and artists during their visit . Thus in recent years, including the work involved the renovation of marble facade, replacing the carpet in the room with wooden floors , installation of a new fully decorated wooden concert to a significant improvement of acoustics, the orchestra pit and stage below .


The Théâtre des Champs- Elysées is now a modern working tool receiving each year nearly 300,000 spectators and a few thousands of artists and collaborators.


The Théâtre des Champs- Elysées , the jewel of French architecture of the twentieth century, was in 1953 one of the first buildings of contemporary architectural heritage to be classified as historic monuments . Since 1970 the Caisse des Dépôts owns the entire building 15 avenue Montaigne and principal patron of the theater.


For over a century, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées has been the place where the most celebrated artists have come to make their names in Paris. The world’s finest orchestras and world-class soloists have always been a fixture at the Theatre. Théâtre des Champs-Elysées presents more than 200 concerts each year and is renowned for its outstanding performances of all genres, from classical music concerts and staged opera to contemporary dance and jazz.


How to reach us:

Subway: Alma-Marceau (line 9), Franklin D.Roosevelt (line 1), Pont de l’Alma (RER line C)

Bus: n° 42, 63, 72, 80, 92
Taxi station: Place de l’Alma, corner of avenue George V
Car park: Alma George V. The entrance is in front of n° 19, avenue George V
Fixed rate depending on the length of the performance. Payment upon entering.

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