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date: 04 April 2020

Atys(i) (‘Attis’)locked

  • Lois Rosow

Extract

(‘Attis’)

Tragédie en musique in a prologue and five acts by Jean-Baptiste ( see Lully family (opera) §(1) ) to a libretto by Quinault, Philippe after Ovid ’s Fasti, St Germain-en-Laye, court, 10 January 1676.

Lully’s fourth tragedy was known as ‘the king’s opera’ according to Le Cerf de la Viéville (who gave no explanation). Voltaire (Le siècle de Louis XIV, 1751) singled out Atys, along with Armide, to exemplify Quinault’s mastery of the genre. 20th-century scholars have often cited Atys as marking the start of a style period, primarily for its avoidance of subplots and comic interludes in the Venetian manner, along with its ‘Racinian serenity’ (Lionel de La Laurencie’s phrase).

Principal singers at the première included Baumavielle (Time), Verdier (Flora), Beaucreux (Melpomene), Cledière (Attis), Morel (Idas), Aubry (Sangaride), Brigogne (Doris), Saint Christophle (Cybele) and Gaye (Celaenus); principal dancers (all male) were Beauchamp, Dolivet, Faure, Favier, Lestang, Magny and Pécour. Additional productions at St Germain took place in ...

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