Zoroaster, Zarathustra, Sarastro? Find out what French baroque music, the legendary opening sequence of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the freemasonry of Mozart's Vienna have in common with Rameau’s Zoroastre! With Pierre Audi’s amazing staging and a stellar cast accompanied by Les Talens Lyriques, the opera comes to scintillating life as you’ve never seen it before.
In 1749, Jean-Philippe Rameau broke with one of baroque opera’s most central conventions by creating Zoroastre, a tragédie en musique inspired by the ancient Persian prophet Zoroaster—and not by Greco-Roman mythology. While Zoroaster may seem an obscure figure to many, his philosophies have come up time and again in classical music… Nietzsche’s Thus spoke Zarathustra inspired Richard Strauss’s eponymous symphonic poem (later immortalized by Stanley Kubrick in his monumental cinematic masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey), and in his Magic Flute, Mozart incorporated Masonic symbolism through the Zoroaster-inspired character of Sarastro, a priest whose ambiguous intentions seem to be an homage to one of Zoroastrianism’s essential precepts, also found at the center of the plot of Rameau opera: the coexistence of good and evil as part of the same whole.