Nothing could be too fine, too sumptuous, to celebrate the marriage of Louis XIV and the Infanta of Spain. An opera by Cavalli, ballets by Lully, a new 7000-seater theatre, machinery which allowed for spectacular staging effects. Ercole Amante (Hercule Amoureux) should, before a dazzled Europe, venerate and honour the Sun King. And yet this ‘Louis-Hercule' is impulsive, violent, a rapist. He must undergo dreadful suffering and a painful death before finally being able to marry Beauty. So why such a choice? How, today, does one perform and stage this opera?
Here is a journey through the mythology, history and music of an emblematic and little-known work, along with the complete libretto and its French translation.
Articles by Jean-François Lattarico (musicologist), Gabriel Garrido (conductor), Pierre Kuentz (director), Marianne Masslin (philosopher), Sylvie Pebrier (musicologist), Richard Uhl (psychoanalyst) and Ana Yepes (choreographer).