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Under the baton of the excellent conductor Guillaume Tourniaire, Gluck’s most original tragedy comes to Venice’s most celebrated theater in a production by Pier Luigi Pizzi. After successive triumphs in the Viennese scene of the 1760s, over the course of the 1770s Gluck met with a new series of successes in France. Aiming to establish himself in the French musical scene as a genius of musical storytelling, he took the challenge head on, appropriating selected Lullian librettos from the previous century to his own dramatic ends. He did just this with Alceste, one of Quinault’s most acclaimed texts, setting it to his own music. This production of the tragic three-act opera stars Marlin Miller (Admeto) and Carmela Remigio (Alceste) in the roles of the self-sacrificing royal couple.
Admeto, the King of Thessaly, is on the point of death when the oracle of Apollo announces that only a human sacrifice can prevent his death. To save her husband’s life, the Queen Alceste decides to offer her own life. Admeto's good health returns, to the great joy of his people, but when the king learns of Alceste’s sacrifice, he refuses to accept her offer, instead asking to die in his wife’s place. Then, when Alceste is preparing herself for death, the god Hercules intervenes and reunites the couple. Apollo then appears, congratulating Hercules’s courage and giving Admeto and Alceste their lives back.
Photo: © Michele Crosera