Platée

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Synopsis
Prologue

After a night of partying, the Chorus wakes Thespis from a drunken sleep. When Thalie and Momus arrive, they seek Thespis' help in planning the presentation of an entertainment in which they will recreate a long-ago attempt by Jupiter to cure his wife, Juno, of her jealousy. Initially left out of the planning, a furious Love arrives on the scene and proclaims that it will be impossible to stage the event without her: "how could there be a play without the inspiration of love?" she asks. All four then lay out the plan.

Act 1

In the middle of a raging storm, Mercury comes down from the heavens and explains to Citheron that it is caused by Juno's jealousy and that he has been sent by Jupiter to find a way of taking his mind off the problem. Citheron's solution is to propose the enactment of the plan put together by the four conspirators: Jupiter will pretend to fall in love with the ugly marsh nymph, Platée - who is convinced that everything that comes near her pond is madly in love with her - and, when Juno finds them together and about to marry, she will realize that her jealousy is baseless and the couple will be re-united.

After Platée arrives, Mercury leaves to inform Jupiter. While she seems to believe that it is Cithéron who is in love with her - in spite of his denials - she is delighted to hear from Mercury that Jupiter will soon descend from the heavens and declare his love: "The god of thunder, drawn to earth by your beauty, wishes to cast at your feet both his heart and the Universe" A new storm created by Juno bursts forth, but Platée is not put out and the marsh creatures retreat to their watery homes.

Act 2

Having sent Juno off to Athens, Mercury and Cithéron find a hiding place to observe the proceedings. Accompanied by Momus, Jupiter arrives, revealing himself first as a donkey (to the accompanying sounds of donkey braying from the orchestra), then as an owl, and finally, in person in a clap of thunder and bright light. An extendeddivertissment proceeds, including a show-stopping highlight in which La Folie (Madness) sings the story of Apollo and Daphne as a warning to Platée not to get involved with Jupiter. Dancers and singers alternately praise and mock Platée.

Act 3

As people arrive for the marriage of Jupiter and Platée, a furious-at-being-tricked Juno has returned from Athens but she is persuaded to hide until the right moment. Momus appears, poorly disguised as Love, and offers "gifts" to Platée. Jupiter and Platée begin to take part in the wedding ceremony, but, stalling after his initial "I swear", he awaits the arrival of Juno. When she finally sees Platée and removes her veil, she realizes that it was all a joke. The gods ascend back to heaven and the humiliated Platée leaps back into the pond.

Program and cast

Opera in a prologue and three acts (1745)

After Jacques Autreau

Music : Jean-Philippe Rameau - (1683-1764)

Libretto : Adrien-Joseph Le Valois d'Orville


Conductor : Marc Minkowksi

Director : Laurent Pelly

Set design : Chantal Thomas

Lighting design : Joël Adam

Costume design : Laurent Pelly

Choreography : Laura Scozzi

Dramaturgy: Agathe Mélinand

Chorus master : Ching-Lien Wu

Orchestre des Musiciens du Louvre

Choirs of the Opéra national de Paris

Coproduction with the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Opéra national de Bordeaux, Opéra national de Montpellier, Théâtre de Caen and Opéra de Flandre


Cast


Thespis: Mathias Vidal

A satyr, Cithéron: Nahuel di Pierro

Momus: Marc Mauillon

Thalie, la folie: Julie Fuchs (17 June > 6 July)

Amina Edris (7 > 12 July)

Love, Clarine: Tamara Bounazou

Platée: Lawrence Brownlee

Jupiter: Jean Teitgen

Mercury: Reinoud Van Mechelen

Juno: Adriana Bignani-Lesca

Paris Opera - Palace Garnier

The Paris Opera (French: Opéra de Paris, or simply the Opéra) is the primary opera company of Paris. It was founded in 1669 by Louis XIV as the Académie d'Opéra and shortly thereafter was placed under the leadership of Jean-Baptiste Lully and renamed the Académie Royale de Musique. Classical ballet as we know it today arose within the Paris Opera as the Paris Opera Ballet and has remained an integral and important part of the company. Currently called the Opéra national de Paris, it primarily produces operas at its modern 2700-seat theatre Opéra Bastille which opened in 1989, and ballets and some classical operas at the older 1970-seat Palais Garnier which opened in 1875. Small scale and contemporary works are also staged in the 500-seat Amphitheatre under the Opéra Bastille.
The company's annual budget is in the order of 200 million euros, of which 100 million come from the French state and 70 million from box office receipts. With this money, the company runs the two houses and supports a large permanent staff, which includes the orchestra of 170, a chorus of 110 and the corps de ballet of 150
Each year, the Opéra presents about 380 performances of opera, ballet and other concerts, to a total audience of about 800,000 people (of which 17% come from abroad), which is a very good average seat occupancy rate of 94%In the 2012/13 season, the Opéra presents 18 opera titles (two in a double bill), 13 ballets, 5 symphonic concerts and two vocal recitals, plus 15 other programmes. The company's training bodies are also active, with 7 concerts from the Atelier Lyrique and 4 programmes from the École de Danse.

The Palais Garnier is a 1,979-seat opera house, which was built from 1861 to 1875 for the Paris Opera. It was originally called the Salle des Capucines because of its location on the Boulevard des Capucines in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, but soon became known as the Palais Garnier in recognition of its opulence and its architect, Charles Garnier. The theatre is also often referred to as the Opéra Garnier, and historically was known as the Opéra de Paris or simply the Opéra, as it was the primary home of the Paris Opera and its associated Paris Opera Ballet until 1989, when the Opéra Bastille opened at the Place de la Bastille. The Paris Opera now mainly uses the Palais Garnier for ballet.

The Palais Garnier is "probably the most famous opera house in the world, a symbol of Paris like Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, or the Sacré Coeur Basilica." This is at least partly due to its use as the setting for Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel The Phantom of the Opera and, especially, the novel's subsequent adaptations in films and Andrew Lloyd Webber's popular 1986 musical. Another contributing factor is that among the buildings constructed in Paris during the Second Empire, besides being the most expensive, it has been described as the only one that is "unquestionably a masterpiece of the first rank." This opinion is far from unanimous however: the 20th-century French architect Le Corbusier once described it as "a lying art" and contended that the "Garnier movement is a décor of the grave".

The Palais Garnier also houses the Bibliothèque-Musée de l'Opéra de Paris (Paris Opera Library-Museum). Although the Library-Museum is no longer managed by the Opera and is part of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the museum is included in unaccompanied tours of the Palais Garnier.

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