Opera-ballet bouffon in a prologue and three acts by Jean-Philippe Rameau to a libretto by Adrien-Joseph Le Valois, premièred at the Grand Manège de Versailles in 1745.
Mathias Vidal Platée
Marie Lys Thalia The Madness
Zachary Wilder Thespis, Mercury
Alexandre Duhamel Jupiter
Juliette Mey Juno
David Witczak Cytheron, a Satyr
Cécile Achille Cupid, Clarine
Cyril Costanzo Momus
La Chapelle Harmonique Choir and orchestra
Valentin Tournet Conductor
Concert in French with French and English surtitles.
In a prologue that sets the scene for the action, Thespis, Momus and Thalie announce the subject of the piece: a comedy mocking the folly of men and recounting the trap set by Jupiter to cure Juno of her jealousy. The trap: to make the frog Platée believe that Jupiter is in love with her. Jupiter’s highly official declaration of love for Platée is delivered by Mercury, the faithful and reasonable messenger of the gods. When the god appears before Platée – first in the form of a donkey, then an owl – the nymph calls on the birds of her marshes, who cause Jupiter to flee. Luckily, the handsome god quickly returned and declares his love for poor Platée, saying he even intends to marry her. However, amid preparations for the wedding, Juno, in a fit of jealousy, interrupts the proceedings and insists that Jupiter return with her to the heavens. The humiliated Platée realises the trick that has been played on her. She returns to her marshes to the ironic taunts of the chorus.
In this madcap opera composed in 1745 for the marriage of the Dauphin Louis, son of Louis XV, and the infanta Maria Teresa of Spain, rumoured to be rather ugly, Jean-Philippe Rameau makes irony the secret weapon of his score. Rameau’s musical intervention overflows at every turn: each scene is an iconoclastic blend of arias, choruses and dances that populate a plot laden with different roles and surprise twists and turns.
Rameau is a perfect fit for Valentin Tournet, who conducts and records this masterpiece of humour and musical perspicacity, with the incredible Mathias Vidal in the hilarious title role!
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