Cid, Le

  • Jules Massenet. Opéra in four acts. 1885.
  • Libretto by Adolphe d’Ennery, Édouard Blau and Louis Gallet, after the play by Corneille.
  • First performance at the Paris Opéra on 30th November 1885.

Loved by Chimène, Rodrigue swears to avenge his father’s honour, an oath that leads him to kill Chimène’s father. Rodrigue leads the Spanish armies against the Moors, leaving Chimène to resolve the conflict in her heart between filial duty and love. Matters seem to have been settled when news is brought of Rodrigue’s death in battle, but finally he returns triumphant, to be forgiven by Chimène.

The ballet music of the second act of Le Cid has a place in concert repertoire, while Chimène’s Pleurez, pleurez, mes yeux (Weep, weep, my eyes), an expression of the dilemma in which she finds herself in the third act, is well known.