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Dardanus(i)locked

  • Graham Sadler

Extract

Tragédie en musique in a prologue and five acts by jean-philippe Rameau to a libretto by charles-antoine le clerc de La bruère ; Paris, Opéra, 19 November 1739.

The appearance of Dardanus, Rameau’s fifth opera, marked the climax of the Lulliste–Ramiste dispute, involving cabal and counter-cabal. The opera was given with a strong cast including Jélyotte (Dardanus) and Pélissier (Iphise), Le Page (Teucer and Ismenor) and the dancers Dupré and Mlles Salléand Barberine. Yet although it consisted of some 26 performances, this first run was judged a limited success. The work was criticized for its absurd plot and its abuse of the supernatural, an abuse frankly admitted in the libretto. Rameau and La Bruère, with help from Pierre-Joseph Pellegrin, subsequently revised it to the extent of giving the last three acts an entirely new plot. This version, eventually staged in ...

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