LES SURPRISES DE L'AMOUR (Version de 1748)

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Compositeur : RAMEAU, Jean-Philippe (1683-1764)
Auteur du texte : BERNARD, Pierre-Joseph (1708-1775)
Création : 27 novembre 1748 - Théâtre des Petits-Appartements (Versailles)

Genre : Ballet héroïque (Prologue et 2 actes)
Catalogue : RCT 58A 

Synopsis :

Prologue — Le Retour d’Astrée (Astreae’s return). In his cave Vulcan (Vulcain) is busy forging weapons with the Cyclops. Harmonious sounds herald Astreae’s (Astrée) descent. She orders them to interrupt their work: all shall now prepare for peace rather than war. Confronted with the Cyclops’ refusal, she invokes the Cupids, who appear at once; Astreae and her troupe emerge victorious from the ensuing fight. The Pleasures appear in turn to sing of the delights of peace and love. Time suddenly interrupts the celebrations, but Astreae proves reassuring: Time has only come to bring back fair weather. He crowns the goddess and joins her to sing the praises of the victorious and magnanimous king.

I — La Lyre enchantée (The magic lyre). In a small valley at the foot of Mount Parnassus, Linus, Apollo’s son and pupil, listens to the birds and admires the dawn. Urania (Uranie) appears and warns him against the amorous reveries inspired by the woods and birds. Linus admits he has yielded to them and declares his love. The muse flees so as not to hear such a displeasing confession. Cupid (L’Amour) descends, surrounded by nymphs and sylvans and suggests a stratagem to render Urania more sensitive. On an oak tree he hangs a magic lyre that unsettles the heart of anyone who plays it. Attempting to attract Urania, the nymphs and the sylvans dance around the tree where Cupid’s decoy is hanging. They leave as Urania appears. As soon as she takes the lyre into her hands she feels love songs mounting from her heart to her lips. She ceases in vain, astonished and frightened. An unknown force prompts her to play the magic instrument; transformed, the muse calls on Linus. Her beloved appears and she declares her love to him. They join their voices to celebrate Venus’s son, who appears in turn and reveals the magical power of the lyre. The celebrations are first marked by a rustic ballet danced by sylvans, soon joined by Terpsichore who shows them the steps of a more appropriate ballet for the circumstance, which they all dance together.

II — Adonis. Sent by Venus, Cupid enters the forest where Adonis is in the service of Diana. With his words he succeeds in making Adonis fall in love with Venus. The goddess appears and conquers him before all three flee from the woods. Diana, accompanied by her nymphs and her retinue of hunters, wants to pursue and punish Adonis. But it is Cupid who brings him back: transformed, Adonis is now most lovable. Diana can no longer keep the transformed youth under her rule. She abandons him to Venus, who celebrates her triumph.

[Patrick Florentin]

1748/11/27 - théâtre (petits appartements) - LES SURPRISES DE L'AMOUR (Version de 1748)

POMPADOUR, Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson (1721-1764) [Uranie]
MARCHAIS, Mme de [Amour, l']
BRANCAS, duchesse de (1748 ca- fl.) [Diane]
CAILLEBOT DE LA SALLE, Marie-Louis (1716 ca-1796) [Linus]
AYEN, Louis de Noailles [Adonis]
BRANCAS, duchesse de (1748 ca- fl.) [Astrée]
MARCHAIS, Mme de [Plaisir]
AYEN, Louis de Noailles [Vulcain]
CAILLEBOT DE LA SALLE, Marie-Louis (1716 ca-1796) [Temps]
ROHAN [Suivant / Suivante de Diane]

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Look at the sources

LES SURPRISES DE L'AMOUR (Version de 1748) - Manuscrit autographe (1748)
LES SURPRISES DE L'AMOUR (Version de 1748) - Première édition (livret) - 1748


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