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Gluck
Alceste
English
Title Page
Act 1
Act 2
Act 3
French
Synopsis
Italian
Synopsis
Title Page
Act 1
Act 2
Act 3
Alceste (French version)
  • Christoph Willibald von Gluck. Tragédie opéra in three acts. 1776.
  • Libretto by Marie François Louis Gand Leblanc Roullet, after Calzabigi.
  • First performance at the Paris Académie Royale de Musique on 23rd April 1776.

Changes in the French version presented the two children of Alcestis and Admetus in silent rôles, cut out the parts of Ismene and the High Priest of Apollo and introduced Hercules (bass).

The French version of Alceste differs principally in the third act, although there are significant changes in the earlier scenes. In the French version Hercules appears, visiting Admetus, and finding him in mourning offers his services. Alcestis enters the Underworld, with Admetus attempting to follow her in death. Hercules intervenes and defeats in battle the infernal gods. In a final scene Apollo appears to set matters right. There is an extended final divertissement, with part of the music written by Gossec. It is this later version that, on the whole, has been retained in current repertoire, rather than the Italian version.

Gluck's overture to the opera may be heard in concert repertoire, with the dramatic air of Alceste Divinités du Styx (Gods of the Styx).

 


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11:31:16 PM, 21 April 2014
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