Iphigénie en Tauride
Tragédie lyrique in a Prologue and Five Acts (1704)
Music by Henry Desmarest (1661-1741), work completed by André Campra (1660-1744)
Libretto by Antoine Danchet (1671-1748) edited by Joseph-François Duché de Vancy (1668-1704)
The Baroque Tetralogy, conceived by the CMBV and Le Concert Spirituel as part of their joint residency with the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, continues here with a new production of one of the 18th century’s greatest successes, namely Desmarest and Campra’s Iphigénie en Tauride.
In the wake of Marais’ Ariane et Bacchus (2022) and Charpentier’s Médée (2023), this little known Iphigénie en Tauride is now being resuscitated. Long before Gluck’s better known version, Iphigénie en Tauride was started by Desmarest, completed by Campra and first performed in 1704. It became a staple in the repertoire of the Académie Royale de Musique and at the royal court. Its sparing use of resources and convincing plot enhance the libretto. The music is a reflection of Desmarest’s consummate art and Campra’s skilful blending of their personal styles. The work is understated yet highly dramatic and it is no surprise that it was an unprecedented success on stage right up until the 1760’s. With this new production, served by an impressive cast and starring Véronique Gens, Hervé Niquet pursues his experimental work with the orchestra and choir of the Académie Royale de Musique and its specific formations and interpreting techniques.