Ariane et Bachus
Music by Marin Marais
Libretto by Saint-Jean
October 1 & 3, 2017
Ariane et Bachus – a perfectly balanced blend of music, poetry, dance, and spectacle, and a story of betrayal, revenge, and love—debuted in Paris in 1696 during the long reign of King Louis XIV. Its composer, the young Marin Marais, was already a famous virtuoso of the viola da gamba and his compositions were being played everywhere. His teacher Jean-Baptiste Lully’s tragédies en musique had established the supreme elegance of the French musical style throughout Europe and were revered and imitated by the likes of Handel and Bach. Composers such as Marais and Charpentier were suddenly at liberty to have their operas performed when Lully’s exclusive patent on operatic production in France expired with his untimely death from a self-inflicted wound to his foot with his own conducting staff.
Librettist Saint-Jean drew on Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the classical collection of myths, as a starting point for the love story of Ariadne and Bacchus. After Ariadne showed her lover Theseus how to escape the labyrinth, avoiding being devoured by the Minotaur, he ran off with her sister Phaedra. Grief-stricken, Ariadne decides she will never love again, rejecting a would-be suitor, Adraste. When Bacchus, the god of wine, arrives in Naxos he falls instantly in love with Ariadne. She rebuffs him at first, but soon discovers she loves him. When Juno hears that Bacchus—the son of her husband Jupiter through an affair with Semele—has been welcomed to the shores of Naxos, she descends to seek revenge. Juno and Adraste team up to destroy the lovers’ new-found happiness.
Under the direction of Craig Trompeter, Haymarket Opera Orchestra—Chicago’s premier period instrument orchestra—will introduce you to Marais’ lush score for violins, multiple violas, bass violin, viola da gamba, violone, harpsichord, archlute, theorbo, recorders, oboes, flutes, and bassoon. Director Sarah Edgar brings her renowned flair to the spectacular staging and dance, while costume designer Meriem Bahri works her usual sensual visual magic.
Craig Trompeter, Music Director
Sarah Edgar, Stage Director and Choreographer
Meriem Bahri, Costume Design
Mike Winkelman, Stage Design
Lindsey Lyddan, Lighting Design
Running Time: 3 hours with intermission
Sung in French with English Supertitles
Saturday, September 30, 2017 - 7:30pm
Sunday, October 1, 2017 - 3:00pm
Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 7:30pm
The Athenaeum Theatre
2936 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60657
Level A - $87
Level B - $67
Level C - $47
Level D - $27 (Limited View Seating)