Opéra-ballet in four acts and a prologue

Composer Jean-Philippe Rameau · Libretto by Louis de Fuzelier
In French with German surtitles | New Production

Munich Opera Festival
Sunday, 24. July 2016
06:00 pm – 09:15 pm

Duration est. 3 hours 15 minutes · 1.-3. Bild (est. 06:00 pm - 07:30 pm ) · Interval (est. 07:30 pm - 08:00 pm ) · 4.+5. Bild (est. 08:00 pm - 09:15 pm )

Prices PA , € - /125 /- /- /-

Premiere at 24. July 2016

This performance will be broadcasted live via the internet as part of Staatsoper.TV.

This production will be broadcast live on BR-KLASSIK

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Musikalische Leitung
Ivor Bolton
Inszenierung und Choreographie
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
Anna Viebrock
Greta Goiris
Michael Bauer
Antonio Cuenca, Miron Hakenbeck
Detlef Bratschke

Lisette Oropesa
Goran Jurić
Ana Quintans
Tareq Nazmi
Elsa Benoit
Cyril Auvity
François Lis
Anna Prohaska
Don Carlos
Mathias Vidal
Cyril Auvity
Tareq Nazmi
Ana Quintans
Anna Prohaska
Mathias Vidal
Don Alvaro
François Lis
Lisette Oropesa
John Moore
Niku Navala Chaudhari, Nicola Leahey, Acacia Schachte, Jennifer White, Ema Yuasa
Jason Kittelberger, Denis Kooné, Kazutomi “Tsuki” Kozuki, Elias Lazaridis, Shintaro Oue, James Vu Anh Pham, Patrick Williams "Twoface" Seebacher

Tänzer der Compagnie Eastman, Antwerpen

Balthasar-Neumann-Chor, Freiburg

Münchner Festspielorchester

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Very much in keeping with the spirit of his age, Jean-Philippe Rameau measures the European culture of being lucky or unlucky in love against the image of the noble savage and takes the audience on a journey to four exotic realms. Given that, in the mythical land of Arcadia, people are walking away from Love and choosing to follow the god of war, Amor encourages Love to seek new followers on other continents. Regardless of whether the portrayals of distant lands are accurate representations of reality as conveyed by geographers, or simply a propagation of colonial clichés, Europeans are reflected just as much in the sultan who declines to take advantage of the highly desirable prisoner; in the self-destructively jealous Inka priest; in the love games of Persian princes; and in the prairie Indians who love faithfully and peacefully, as Rameau's furiously portrayed storms and volcanic eruptions stand for their emotional turbulence. 

Recollecting the origins of French music theatre within a culture of dance, Rameau plays with a genre which was enjoying a high degree of popularity among his contemporaries, but which today classifies as terra incognita, ripe for rediscovery: the Opéra-ballet. Using a balanced mix of music, drama and dance, and with multiple long-distance location changes, the focus alternates between four couples and their handling of fidelity, trust and jealousy - variations on the increasingly pertinent question: How do we love right?


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Hébé gathers the youth together in order to pass on her know ledge about love and human nature. She is interrupted by Bellona, who wins over countless young people with her ideals of war. While the latter head into battle, Hébé remains behind, bewildered. Then Love comes to her rescue. Encouraged, Hébé goes out in search for ways to realise her ideas and virtues.

First Act – The generous Turk
Emilie is, for Osman, an object of worship. He urges her relentlessly to submit to his amorous advances. She however remains true to her beloved Valère, whom she lost when they were separated from each other by a catastrophe. Emilie fears Valère may no longer be alive. Her fear overwhelms her, and is echoed suddenly by a breaking storm. After the storm has abated, Emilie discovers Valère among a group of new arrivals. Her joy at seeing him again is interrupted by Osman, who, contrary to all expectation, allows Emilie to leave with Valère and wishes the couple a happy future.

Second Act – The Incas of Peru
The Priest Huascar loves Phani, a believer in his congregation. But she has chosen a stranger called Carlos, who loves her too and encourages her to give up her faith. Huascar tries to break up this love and to win Phani for himself by pretending to be the mouthpiece of God's will and awakening Phani's guilt. In order to increase his influence over her, he goes as far as to stage supernatural phenomena in the religious ceremony. Carlos discovers the means by which these wonders are evoked and reveals the deceitful schemes to Phani. Phani and Carlos flee. Left behind alone, Huascar begs to be struck down by God's wrath.

Third Act  The flowers, a Persian festival

Tacmas and Fatime disguise themselves for love: dressed up as the opposite sex, each of them hopes to draw closer to their beloved ones: Tacmas loves Zaïre, the slave of his friend Ali. Ali in turn desires Fatime, who is owned by Tacmas. After many entanglements due to mistaken identities, two couples celebrate their love and the start of their new lives together.

Fourth Act – The Savages
The military commander, Adario, has succeeded in ensuring peace for his nation. Despite this success, he is deeply worried that his adored Zima could be in love with someone else. He hides so that he can eavesdrop on two strangers who are also wooing Zima: Damon and Alvar. Damon is as frivolous and free as Alvar is loyal and jealous. However, Zima prefers Adario, since he combines the qualities of the both without showing any weaknesses. After he reveals himself, Adario and Zima affirm their love. With this assurance, they celebrate their bond as well as the newly won peace.

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Ivor Bolton studierte am Royal College of Music und am National Opera Studio in London. Anschließend war er musikalischer Leiter der English Touring Opera, der Glyndebourne Touring Opera und des Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Derzeit ist er musikalischer Leiter des Dresdner Festspielorchesters, seit 2015 außerdem des Teatro Real in Madrid und seit 2016 Chefdirigent des Sinfonieorchesters Basel. Regelmäßig ist er zu Gast beim Maggio Musicale Fiorentino und an der Opéra national de Paris. Weitere Opernengagements führten ihn u. a. an das Royal Opera House Covent Garden und die English National Opera in London sowie nach Bologna, Brüssel, Amsterdam, Lissabon, Sydney, Berlin, Hamburg und Genua. Von 2004 bis 2016 war er Chefdirigent des Mozarteum-Orchesters Salzburg, dem er nunmehr als Ehrendirigent verbunden ist. Dirigate an der Bayerischen Staatsoper 2020/21: Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Le nozze di Figaro. (Stand: 2021)

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