Les Boréades

Rameau

Opéra

PERFORMANCE WITH FRENCH OVERTITLES
NEW PRODUCTION OF THE DIJON OPERA

MUSIC Jean-Philippe Rameau
LIBRETTO Louis de Cahusac

CONCERT D’ASTRÉE ORCHESTRA AND CHOIR
MUSICAL DIRECTOR
Emmanuelle Haïm
ASSISTANT TO MUDICAL DIRECTOR  Atsushi Sakai
VOCAL COACH Benoît Hartoin

STAGE DIRECTOR
Barrie Kosky
ASSISTANT TO STAGE DIRECTOR David Merz & Emily Hehl
STAGE SETS AND COSTUMES Katrin Lea Tag
WIGS Pascal Jehan
MAKE-UP Marion Bidaud
LIGHTING Franck Évin
CHOREOGRAPHY Otto Pichler
SETS ASSISTANT Victor Labarthe d’Arnoux

WITH THE PATRONAGE OF the Crédit Agricole of Champagne-Bourgogne

  • CAST 

    ALPHISE Hélène Guilmette
    SEMIRE, POLYMNIE, CUPIDON, NYMPHE Emmanuelle De Negri
    ABARIS Mathias Vidal
    BORÉE Christopher Purves
    BORILÉE Yoann Dubruque
    ADAMAS, APOLLON Edwin Crossley-Mercer
    CALISIS Sébastien Droy

    DANCERS Yacnoy Abreu Alfonso, Julie Dariosecq, Benjamin Dur, Anaëlle Echalier, Lazare Huet, Anna Konopska 

  • CO-PRODUCTION 

    Dijon Opera
    Komische Oper Berlin

The genesis of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s ultimate masterpiece is surrounded by mystery. Les Boréades was scheduled to be premiered in June 1763. Two rehearsals took place in April of the same year. This premiere, however, would not take place. Between April and June 1763, the Menus-Plaisirs du Roi, the office in charge of royal entertainment, simply dropped the performance. Numerous suggestions have been made to explain the project’s sudden disappearance: dwindling interest in Rameau’s music, difficulty of the work, or even the death of the composer — although this latter event occurred a year later. But the real reason was most likely political: for a regime in its final agonies, contested from all sides by philosophers as well as the bourgeoisie, with a king whose popularity was at its nadir, Les Boréades constituted a nuclear bomb. The social and political foundations of the monarchy — nobility and privileges of blood, status of women, arbitrary power of the king, docile subjugation of the people — are here attacked in a full frontal assault. Alphise, queen of Bactria, must marry a descendant of Borée: Borilée or Calisis. But she is in fact in love with someone else, Abaris, an orphan without title or birthright. For him, she is ready to abdicate, thereby infuriating the two rival suitors, who both see the throne as their salvation. Gripped by tyrannical rage, Borée unleashes his full wrath upon Bactria, reducing it to ruin, and on its people, and submits Alphise to endless torture. But his rule soon collapses. Tyranny gives rise to revolution: Abaris progressively regains the strength and courage to fight. Virtue and struggle soon reveal his true nobility: he is the son of Apollo. With this, Borée surrenders, and is forced to celebrate the wedding of the two lovers. The whole work reflects the words written on the frontispiece to the second act: "It is liberty that we must love, the supreme good is liberty" The liberty to love, for a woman who refuses the suitors imposed upon her; the political liberty of an individual who rises up against the arbitrary privileges of class and who proves that true nobility is a question of virtue and not of blood. Supreme liberty also of the composer: at 80 years old, Rameau continue to extend the codes of the genre, offering a work of a magisterial unity, fresh and full of surprises, liberating the orchestral pallet as never before, with amazing fluidity and naturalness.

More than a mere last waltz, Les Boréades is a seminal and unique work, that straddles the centuries as an imperishable masterpiece. For this revolutionary opera that defies classification, Emmanuelle Haïm and the Concert d’Astrée joins with Barrie Kosky, the enfant terribleof staging (Castor & Pollux at Dijon in 2014) along with a cast of the highest calibre.


Spectacle en partenariat avec Mezzo. 

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Auditorium
  • March 2019
    • Friday 22 at 20:00
    • Sunday 24 at 15:00
    • Tuesday 26 at 20:00
    • Thursday 28 at 20:00
Price Opera
From 5,50€ to 65€
Duration
3h approximately with intermission

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