Les Indes galantes by Jean-Philippe Rameau

Les Indes galantes © GTG Matthieu Gafsou

Les Indes galantes

Opéra-ballet by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Price:
From CHF 17.- to 294.-
Fri 13 Dec 19:30
Sun 15 Dec 15:00
Tue 17 Dec 19:30
Thu 19 Dec 19:30
Sat 21 Dec 19:30
Mon 23 Dec 19:30
Fri 27 Dec 19:30
Sun 29 Dec 15:00
The cincture of the sound
Is holy ground,
Where all are Brothers,
Not faceless Others.

W. H. Auden
« A Hymn to the United Nations » (1971)
Info
Cast
About
Info

Opéra-ballet by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Libretto by Louis Fuzelier
First performed in 1735
First time at Grand Théâtre de Genève

Sung in french with french and english subtitles

Duration: 2h45 with one intermission

Cast

Musical director Leonardo García Alarcón
Stage director Lydia Steier
Choreographer Demis Volpi
Scenographer Heike Scheele
Costumes designer Katharina Schlipf
Lighting Designer Olaf Freese
Dramaturgy Krystian Lada
Choir director Alan Woodbridge

Hébé / Émilie / Zima Kristina Mkhitaryan
Amour / Zaïre Roberta Mameli
Phani Claire de Sévigné
Fatime Amina Edris
Bellone / Osman / Adario Renato Dolcini
Ali Gianluca Buratto
Don Carlos / Damon Anicio Zorzi Giustiniani
Huascar / Don Alvaro François Lis
Valère / Tacmas Cyril Auvity

Cappella Mediterranea
Grand Théâtre de Genève Ballet
Grand Théâtre de Genève Chorus

About

In 1725, French colonists in what is now Illinois sent Agapit Chicagou, chief of the Mitchigamea Nation, and five other chiefs, on a journey to Paris, where they pledged allegiance to King Louis XV and performed dances of their people for the public at the Théâtre-Italien ; dances that were to provide Jean-Philippe Rameau with the inspiration for one of his keyboard works, the rondeau Les Sauvages. With this charming little piece, Rameau planted the seed of a musical idea that would take eleven years to come to fruition. By liberally lacing the vocal parts of Les Indes galantes (1735) with dance numbers, as required by the lighter genre of the opéra-ballet, Rameau created a masterpiece for the ages.

At the time, most faraway shores were known as “The Indies” and the “gallantry” in the opera’s title has more to do with things erotic than simply holding the door open for ladies. Rameau’s librettist for Les Indes galantes, Fuzelier, was inspired by the best-selling travel literature of his time: Jesuits, adventurers, the first translations of the Arabian Nights. The common theme that Love reigns supreme, even in the most exotic climes, links the four stories told in the opera. The opera’s prologue sets the tone : Hebe, Goddess of Youth, bemoans the loss of her followers to the ranks of Bellona, Goddess of War, who promises them military glory. Hebe asks Love to send his little, winged Cupids to recruit warriors all over the world for the “gallant” cause. Four successive stories take us to different parts of the world, each describing the erotic conflict between the “conquered” indigenous and their “conquerors”.

This is the starting point of Lydia Steier’s project. The US-born stage director, very active on the great stages of the German-speaking coun- tries and notably the Salzburg Festival, raises the curtain of her new production for Geneva on the incipient conflict between the followers of Hebe and Bellona’s cohorts. Both sides are motivated by an ill-defined sense that their way of life is endangered. One side loses itself in games of a dionysiac, almost pre-Armageddon, nature. The other does all it can to regain control by imposing martial law. Bombs start falling and each side pays its tribute. In the end, there is nothing more to do except work together on a new community of nations. Lydia Steier: “This is an important aspect of our project for Geneva, a city which stands for human rights like no other in the world, not to point an accusing finger at anyone, but we have no problems sticking it where it hurts.”

The Grand Théâtre welcomes Rameau’s masterpiece for the first time ever on its stage, The music will be conducted by a quasi-local talent: Leonardo García Alarcón and his Cappella Mediterranea, who will have cut their teeth on the French baroque repertoire the previous season, with Médée by Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Rameau’s predecessor of genius. With Rameau’s opéra-ballet, the Grand Théâtre also opens a new era of artistic collaboration between its opera stage and the Geneva Ballet. It takes an opera where voice and dance are almost in perfect parity to do this, which is definitely the case of Les Indes galantes. Lydia Steier has invited the young Argentinian-born choreographer Demis Volpi to design the choreographic elements of the production and direct the Geneva Ballet in them. Among the many distinguished artists of the cast, we are happy to welcome once again to Geneva the impressive voice of Kristina Mkhitaryan, who figured so eminently in our past production of Cavalli’s Giasone.

Les Indes at La Plage

Duels
Duel #2 : La politique peut-elle sauver le monde ?
21 JAN 2020 à 20h
Main Stage
Apéropéra
12 DÉC 2019 18h30
Foyer GTG
En coulisse
En coulisse
19 DÉC 2019 à l’issue du spectacle
Backstage
Voilà voilà
21 DÉC 2019 à l’issue du spectacle
Foyer GTG
Intropéra
Intropéra
45 minutes avant chaque spectacle
Foyer GTG

#WeArtGTG

All the GTG world. Here, there, everywhere.

Stay in touch with the GTG