ALCESTE

Tragédie-opéra in three acts (1767 / 1776, Pariser Fassung)

Composer Christoph Willibald Gluck. Libretto by Marius-François-Louis Gand Lebland, Bailli Du Roullet after Ranieri de’ Calzabigi.
In French with German and English surtitles. New Production.

Premiere at 26. May 2019

The title character in Christoph Willibald Gluck's opera Alceste demonstrates an almost superhuman willpower. To save her husband's life, Alceste sacrifices her own. The compositional reforms in his dramatic works show how much he was ahead of his contemporaries in both the themes he addressed in his operas and in his musical arrangements. The recitatives of the singers are no longer accompanied by the harpsichord alone – strings also come along now. A new connection between music and text has never been created so colourfully and with such instrumental diversity. The piece was first performed in Vienna's Burgtheater, and sung in Italian. When he revised it in 1776 for Paris he not only changed the language, he also rearranged numerous scenes and focused on the story of the ruling couple. Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, who staged Rameau's Les Indes galantes at the Munich Opera Festival 2016, focuses in his interpretation on the connection between dance and song: "When I see opera singers singing, I feel that they are dancing."