Tragedie lyrique in a prologue and five acts
Libretto by Philippe Quinault
Concert performance in French with German surtitles
Chœur de l'Opéra Royal de Versailles
Conductor: Stéphane Fuger
There is no tougher test that love can be subjected to: Alceste loses her husband, King Admète, on the day of their wedding. Apollo intervenes and announces that Admète can be brought back from the dead if someone sacrifices their live for him. Hearing this, Alceste stabs herself. Alcide (Hercules) tells the resuscitated but despairing King that he would be willing to bring Alceste back from the underworld, but on one crucial condition … Following the first performance in 1674, Madame de Sévigné praised this tragédie lyrique as “a miracle of beauty”. And Lully did indeed come up with so many exquisite melodies that they stuck firmly in the heads of everyone at the French court.