David et Jonathas (‘David and Jonathan’)
- John S. Powell
(‘David and Jonathan’)
Sacred opera in five acts by Marc-Antoine Charpentier to a libretto by François Bretonneau; Paris, Collège Louis-le-Grand, 28 February 1688.
The drama is set in the Holy Lands during biblical times. King Saul (bass), on the eve of his battle against the Philistines, consults a Witch (haute-contre), who in turn summons the ghost of Samuel (bass); Samuel predicts defeat. David (haute-contre), banished from the camp of the Israelites by Saul, has joined the Philistine army. In spite of his desire for peace, David is forced to fight against the Israelites and his beloved friend Jonathas [Jonathan] (soprano), son of Saul. When he sees his sons dying and himself about to be captured, Saul falls on his sword. Jonathan, mortally wounded, dies in David’s arms, while the Israelites proclaim David to be Saul’s successor as their king.
David et Jonathas served as a five-part intermède to the spoken tragedy ...