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Jean-Philippe Rameau's opera Zoroastre was first performed in 1749 in a spectacular production at the Opéra in Paris. The opera is set in ancient Bactria, then part of the Persian empire and now in Afghanistan. The plot concerns the efforts of the prophet Zoroaster to introduce a new religion celebrating goodness and light and to win the hand of Princess Amelite, heiress to the throne of the kingdom. Ranged against him are the evil sorcerer and tyrant Abramane, and Erinice, another princess in love with Zoroaster, whose anguished dilemma whether to kill the hero or warn him of the Machiavellian Abramane's scheming make up a much of the drama. As contemporaries realised, the libretto as an allegory of the ideals of freemasonry and invites comparisons with Mozart's Magic Flute.