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date: 14 October 2019

Zoroastrelocked

  • Graham Sadler

Extract

Tragédie en musique in five acts by Jean-Philippe Rameau to a libretto by (Jean-)Louis de Cahusac; Paris, Opéra, 5 December 1749.

* – original version only † – 1756 version only

Though produced with more than usual magnificence and a cast including Jélyotte (Zoroastre), Chassé (Abramane) and Fel (Amélite), Zoroastre had initially only limited success. Despite 25 performances it proved far less popular than Mondonville’s Le carnaval du Parnasse, staged during the same period. By May 1752 Rameau and Cahusac had begun an extensive reworking affecting the whole character of the work. This version, first given on 19 January 1756, was much more successful. It was revived with minor modifications on 26 January 1770 to inaugurate the Opéra’s Palais Royal theatre, rebuilt after the fire of 1763. The earlier version was staged at Dresden on 17 January 1752 in an Italian translation by Casanova, music by Johann Adam replacing most of Rameau’s.

As Cahusac pointed out, ...

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