The originality and caustic humour in Atys en folie, a parody of Lully’s opera Atys, continues to fascinate audiences. This Centre de musique baroque de Versailles production features puppets, singers and instruments.
Atys is Lully’s most famous opera, and it gave rise to hilarious parodies in the Paris fairground theatres throughout the 18th century. Jean-Philippe Desrousseaux and Arnaud Marzorati and Les Lunaisiens have set out to revive this maverick piece with their highly original production. Princes, princesses and kings are relegated to the roles of peasants, market gardeners and fishmongers deep in the countryside. Queen Cybèle becomes grandmother of the Gods, valiant Atys is played by nasty Polichinelle and gentle Sangaride turns into slovenly, simple-minded Marguerite. The dramatic plot is played out alongside an extravagant baroque puppet booth, and switches from Mount Olympus to a lowly farmyard setting. A furious Cybèle instructs her dog to infect Marguerite with rabies and turns Polichinelle into a neutered cockerel. Moments of awe and hilarity guaranteed.