Lully's Bellerophon

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EMS20110129

Catherine Bott samples Lully's opera "Bellérophon" with Christophe Rousset and his group Les Talens Lyriques who recently gave the first performance in modern times of this hugely successful tragedie en lyrique by Lully, in the sumptuous Opera Royal at Versailles, after Rousset's discovery of missing pages of the score in a bookshop in Paris.

Rousset talks about his find, and about the qualities that make Lully's opera stand out as a masterpiece.

Lully was one of opera's most significant figures and this opera was one of his most successful.

It originally ran for nine months when it was given at the Palais Royal on 31st January 1697.

But non-French speaking audiences often encounter difficulties appreciating Lully's dramatic style and some of the subtleties of his declamatory word setting.

Rousset offers some insights as to why these pioneering and influential works are worth wider appreciation.

The programme includes comments from Rousset and from Bellérophon himself - tenor Cyril Autivy - as well as highlights from the Versailles performance.

Catherine Bott on Lully's Bellerophon with Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques.