Jean Baptiste Lully

TRAGÉDIE EN MUSIQUE in one prologue and five acts by Jean Baptiste Lully. Poem by Philippe Quinault
Premiered in Saint-Germain-en-Laye on 10 January 1676

Introduction à l’œuvre 30 minutes avant chaque représentation

Avec le soutien de :

William Christie & Jean-Marie Villégier

Bernard Richter, Stéphanie d’Oustrac, Emmanuelle de Negri, Nicolas Rivenq, Marc Mauillon, Sophie Daneman, Jaël Azzaretti, Paul Agnew, Cyril Auvity, Bernard Deletré, Jean Charles di Zazzo, Olivier Collin, Elodie Fonnard, Rachel Redmond, Anna Reinhold, Francisco Fernández, Reinoud Van Mechelen, Callum Thorpe, Benjamin Alunni, Arnaud Richard

Choir and orchestra, Les Arts Florissants


Musical direction, William Christie
Stage direction, Jean-Marie Villégier
Stage direction associate, Christophe Galland
Scenery, Carlo Tommasi
Choregraphy, Francine Lancelot et Béatrice Massin
Costumes, Patrice Cauchetier
Lighting, Patrick Méeüs
Perruques, Daniel Blanc
Make-up, Suzanne Pisteur
Conseiller musical, Paul Agnew
Choregraphy assistant, Béatrice Aubert
Costumes assistante, Anne Autran Dumour
Vocal coach, Benoît Hartoin
Chief of chorus, François Bazola
Linguistic advisor, Anne Pichard

Atys, Bernard Richter
Cybèle, Stéphanie d’Oustrac
Sangaride, Emmanuelle de Negri
Célénus, Nicolas Rivenq
Idas, Marc Mauillon
Doris, Sophie Daneman
Mélisse , Jaël Azzaretti
Dieu du Sommeil, Paul Agnew
Morphée, Cyril Auvity
Le Temps ; le fleuve Sangar, Bernard Deletré
Maître de cérémonie / Alecton, Jean Charles di Zazzo (comédien)
L’impresario, Olivier Collin
Flore /Suite de Sangar, Elodie Fonnard*
Iris, Rachel Redmond*
Melpomène, Anna Reinhold*
Zéphir /Suite de Sangar, Francisco Fernández*
Zéphir, Reinoud Van Mechelen*
Phobétor, Callum Thorpe*
Phantase, Benjamin Alunni**
Songe Funeste, Arnaud Richard**
Dancers, Compagnie Fêtes galantes : Bruno Benne, Sarah Berreby, David Berring, Laura Brembilla, Olivier Collin, Estelle Corbière, Laurent Crespon, Claire Laureau, Adeline Lerme, Akiko Veaux.
Gil Isoart de l’Opéra National de Paris

Prêtresses, Céline Clergé, Shinta Delanoë, Vanessa Devraine, Cindy Doutres, Sophie Dumont, Adeline Godard, Scarlett Hohmann, Aude Roman

Chorus and orchestre, Les Arts Florissants

Creation based on the 1987 production in the Salle Favart thanks to Ronald P. Stanton
Co-production, Opéra Comique, Brooklyn Academy of Music,Théâtre de Caen, Opéra National de Bordeaux, Les Arts Florissants

*solists of the 2011 Jardin des Voix

** Choir members

With the support of:





On its first performance at the court of Louis XIV, in conformity with custom, Atys was dubbed “l’opéra du Roy.” It was known that the king, who had actively partaken in its preparation, would often hum its arias. Its triumph was all the more dazzling at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal where the public rushed for the Parisian premiere in April, then acclaimed it at each revival while parodies increased. Wonderfully structured, served by a highly expressive music, with a constant choreographic variety and an unprecedented dramatic intensity, Atys is also the first opera to center its plot on love and the first French tragedy to have its hero die on stage. Introducing poetry of sentiment to conventional drama, the torments of the nymph Sangaride and the shepherd Atys, in the hands of jealous Cybele and her cult, touch us as the helplessness of youth facing a world of intransigence and sacrifice.

With the support of:





Time and the Hours are celebrating Louis XIV. Flore precedes spring so as to woo him before he goes to war. But Melpomene, the muse of tragedy pushes them aside: she wants to take advantage of winter and the assembled court to recall the love of Cybele and Atys. Then Iris reconciles them: may Nature and Art unite to celebrate Atys.

Act I
Atys gathers the Phrygians to celebrate the goddess Cybele. His friend Idas sets his religious zeal against his insensitivity. After having announced his resolution to never fall in love, Atys admits to have failed to his word. They are interrupted by Sangaride and Doris who are honoring Cybele. Sangaride is to wed King Celenus soon, but she confides to Doris that she loves Atys. However, Atys opens his heart to her: since he is to die after the nuptials, she should know that he loves her. The reciprocity of their feelings drives them to despair. But the ceremony to the goddess interrupts them and Cybele announces she will choose her sacrificer.

Act II
King Celenus confides to Atys his fear of not being loved by Sangaride. Atys must reassure his rival! Cybele wishes to honor Atys and choose him as her sacrificer. Celenus is delighted for his friend. Cybele tells her secret motives to her confidante Melisse: her love for mortal Atys is all too human. Then the Nations and Zephyrs gather to celebrate Cybele’s choice.

Doris and Idas come to tell Atys that Sangaride is intent on canceling the wedding and asking for Cybele’s protection. Overcome by sleep ordered by Cybele, Atys falls into slumber. The deities of sleep and the Dreams let Atys know that Cybele loves him and advise him to be faithful. Atys awakens with Cybele at his bedside. Sangaride comes to beseech the goddess. Atys prevents her from revealing their love but cannot silence Cybele. Sangaride leaves in grief. Cybele suffers from Atys’s indifference toward her.

Act IV
Convinced that Atys is in love with Cybele, Sangaride resigns herself to her marriage to Celenus, who tells Atys he is thrilled. After a moment of disappointment, the two lovers renew their vows and decide to employ Atys’s new power to their love’s advantage. The river Sangar invites his retinue to celebrate his son-in-law. Atys undertakes a daring enterprise: he announces that Cybele forbade the wedding so that Sangaride may become a priestess of her rite. He abducts Sangaride.

Act V
Cybele reveals everything to Celenus. and summons the young lovers. They appeal for clemency on each other’s behalf. But merciless Cybele invokes the hellish deity Alecton to bewitch Atys. The latter mistakes Sangaride for a monster and kills her. Recovering his senses, Atys appeals to rebellion against the heartless gods. While Cybele is smitten with remorse, dying Atys is brought back after he stabbed himself. Cybele turns him into a pine tree so that nature will remember this love.

With the support of:





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