Rameau's Platée from the Theater an der Wien
An ingenious bow by Robert Carsen to the German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld. A true gem from the Theater’s vast repertoire now available in UHD.
Scene photo © Werner Kmetitsch
Jean-Jacques Rousseau hailed “Platée” as “the best musical play ever to be heard in our theatres.” In Robert Carsen’s production, the mythological events take place in the world of Parisian haute couture and Jupiter is portrayed as the fashion god Karl Lagerfeld (1933-2019) – who has now really been transferred up to Olympus.
This ingeniously apt transposition of this satirical opera into the modern day has long been a hit! The renowned specialist in baroque music, William Christie, conducts his Les Arts Florissants, the Arnold Schoenberg Chor and a fantastic cast.
Stories of gods who indulge in human desires on earth appear not just with Jacques Offenbach (Orpheus in the Underworld) on the operatic stage. Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764) premiered his ballet-bouffon “Platée” in Versailles in 1745 – the occasion was the marriage of the Dauphin Ludwig with a Spanish infanta who is said to have been everything other than beautiful.
Jupiter, supreme among the gods and most unfaithful of all husbands, intends to cure his wife Juno of her jealousy once and for all – so that afterwards he can pursue his extramarital interests without her interference. So he turns to Platée, an ugly and narcissistic marsh nymph – sung by a tenor in drag!
Rameau’s story of the tragically ridiculous bride Platée was widely acclaimed at the time. The work is indeed unique - due to the comic plot, the effective music, the numerous dances and orchestral interludes.
English title RAMEAU, PLATÉE
Original title RAMEAU, PLATÉE
Recording location Theater an der Wien, Vienna
Recording date December 2020
Production year 2021
Duration 140 min.
Video format UHD
Production Company Unitel
Director Davide Mancini
Distribution TV Unitel & C Major for Unitel
Conductor William Christie
Stage Director Robert Carsen
Choreography by Nicolas Paul
Soloist Marcel Beekman (Platée), Jeanine de Bique (La Folie), Cyril Auvity (Mercure/Thespis), Marc Mauillon (Cithéron/Momus), Edwin Crossley-Mercer (Jupiter), Emmanuelle de Negri (Clarine/Amour), Emilie Renard (Junon), Ilona Revolskaya (Thalie), Padraic Rowan (Mommuss)
Orchestra / Band Les Arts Florissants
Choir Arnold Schoenberg Chor
Chorus Master Erwin Ortner, Roger Díaz-Cajamarca
Composer Jean-Philippe Rameau
Libretto Adrien-Joseph le Valois d'Orville, based on Jacques Autreau’s “Platée ou Junon jalouse”
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