Hippolyte et Aricie (‘Hippolytus and Aricia’)
- Graham Sadler
Tragédie en musique in a prologue and five acts by Jean-Philippe Rameau to a libretto by Abbé Simon-Joseph Pellegrin after Jean Racine’s Phèdre, Euripides’ Hippolytos and Seneca’s Phaedra; Paris, Opéra, 1 October 1733.
Rameau’s controversial first opera had a troublesome early history. Although the cast included Chassé de Chinais (Theseus) and Antier (Phaedra), with Dupré and Camargo among the dancers, some of the performers were unable or unwilling to master the work’s difficulties. This, along with criticism of the dramatic structure, led to a series of cuts, which severely blunted the work’s dramatic impact. Though successfully revived in ...