Danaïdes, Les (‘The Danaids’)
- John A. Rice
Tragédie lyrique in five acts by Antonio Salieri to a libretto by Marie François Louis Gand Leblanc, Bailli du Roullet and Tschudi after Ranieri de’ Calzabigi ; Paris, Opéra, 26 April 1784.
Set in ancient Greece, Les Danaïdes is a gruesome story of vengeance, deception and murder. Danaus (baritone) and his daughters, the Danaids (chorus of sopranos and altos), swear an oath of friendship to the sons of Aegyptus, brother and arch-enemy of Danaus. Aegyptus is dead; the eldest of his sons, Lyncée [Lynceus] (tenor), now leads the family. As part of the treaty of friendship, Lynceus and his brothers are engaged to be married to the Danaids, Lynceus himself to Hypermnestre [Hypermnestra] (soprano), the eldest. Lynceus and Hypermnestra sing of their love for one another in the duet ‘Oublions tous ces jours de peine’....