A lyric tragedy in five acts composed by Antonio Salieri, Les Danaïdes was premiered in 1784 in Paris. Gluck, who strongly supported the young Salieri, appended his signature on the score in order to facilitate Les Danaïdes' performance at the Académie Royale de Musique de Paris. As the opera was a great success, Gluck quickly refuted the authorship, giving thus fame to the Italian composer, becoming all of a sudden a key player in the European operatic scene.
Les Danaïdes draws its inspiration from the Greek mythology, and tells the story of Danaos's daughters, forced by their father to slaughter their husbands during their wedding night...Argument
The opera opens with a reconciliation scene between Aegyptus and Danaus: the peace shall be sealed by a marriage between the two families. But Danaus reveals to his daughters his terrible plan: the brides must slit their husbands' throat. Torn between filial piety and her love for Aegyptus' son Lynceus, the elder sister Hypermnestra desperately tries to avoid her husband on the wedding night. But soon screams are heard: Hypermnestra's sisters have killed their husbands…
Les Talens Lyriques are supported by the Ministry of Culture and Communication and the City of Paris. In addition, the ensemble is grateful for the generous support of the Annenberg GRoW Foundation – Gregory et Regina Annenberg Weingarten, the Primonial Group and the Friends of the Cercle des Mécènes. Les Talens Lyriques are members of the FEVIS and PROFEDIM syndicates.
Photo: Les Talens Lyriques at the Royal Opera of Versailles in 2010 © Jacques Verrees.