Touring production


by Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne
Live Concert
Tragédie lyrique in three acts on a libretto by François-Benoît Hoffmann, premiered on 26 October 1786 at Fontainebleau Palace. Arrangement for four singers and ten instruments. The libretto of Phèdre belongs to a fashion in the reign of Louis XVI for reviving the styles of the Grand Siècle: many aesthetes were of the opinion that the decadence of the arts that had begin with the death of Rameau called for a pious volte-face to the classical sources of Louis XIV’s reign. The librettist François-Benoît Hoffman (1760-1828), still very much in the flower of his youth and who would go on to write the libretto for Cherubini’s glorious Médée in 1797, radically adapted Racine’s original, preserving only a few of its more striking features. The music composed for this tightly wrought drama benefited from Gluck’s innovations of the 1770s. Lemoyne paid particular attention to finding just the right note for his recitatives: short orchestral phrases, unexpected modulations, even musical rests intensify the drama and emotional charge of the libretto. Lemoyne employed various devices which make his style instantly recognisable. Orchestral unisons, for instance, lend an air of unsettling mystery to each of Phaedra’s entrances. The score also makes good use of the so-called ‘frenetic’ style (in which Berlioz detected the indisputable source of early Romanticism) developed by the school of Gluck; this gave Mlle Saint-Huberty, for whom the role was written, a chance to display her dramatic talent and strong singing voice to the full.
Metz Limoges


Sun 24 March 2019
Arsenal, Metz
Tue 4 June 2019
Opéra Théâtre de Limoges, Limoges


LE CONCERT DE LA LOGE Julien Chauvin conductor and leader Marc Paquien stage director Victoria Duhamel assistant stage director Emmanuel Clolus scenography Claire Risterucci morals Dominique Bruguière lights Nathy Polak makeup and hairstyles Pierre Gaillardot technical direction Vincent Combette stage direction Flore Merlin vocal coach Phèdre Judith van Wanroij Œnone Diana Axentii Hippolyte Camille Tresmontant Thésée Thomas Dolié
Production Bru Zane France Co-production Théâtre de Caen / Centre de musique baroque de Versailles / Opéra de Reims With the support of the SPEDIDAM Spedidam Sets by the ateliers of the Opéra de Reims Costumes made by the ateliers of the Théâtre de Caen