Iphigénie en Aulide (‘Iphigenia in Aulis’)
- Jeremy Hayes
(‘Iphigenia in Aulis’)
Tragédie in three acts by Christoph Willibald Ritter von Gluck to a libretto by Marie François Louis Gand Leblanc, Bailli du Roullet after Jean Racine Iphigénie en Aulide, itself after Euripides ; Paris, Opéra, 19 April 1774.
Iphigénie en Aulide was the first of the seven operas that Gluck composed for Paris, although it was not actually commissioned by the Académie Royale de Musique. After Paride ed Elena failed to meet with success in Vienna in 1770, Gluck’s thoughts turned elsewhere. He had already written and adapted several French opéras comiques for Vienna and he had admired and studied the tragédies lyriques of Lully and Rameau; their influence can certainly be seen in Gluck’s three Viennese ‘reform’ operas, Orfeo ed Euridice, Alceste and Paride ed Elena. So it was inevitable that, having incorporated many features of French opera into his latest works, Gluck should be drawn to the French stage itself....