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    Platee

    Santa Fe Opera

    Overview

    Even the ugliest frog in the swamp deserves a date once in a while! But when Platée trains her matrimonial gun sights on the great god Jupiter, a side-splitting come-uppance is inevitable.

    Synopsis


    Characters

    Platée, an unattractive swamp-nymph
    Jupiter, ruler of the gods
    Cithaeron, king of Mount Cithaeron
    Mercury, the messenger god
    Folly, personification of pride and vanity
    Juno, wife of Jupiter, queen of the gods
    Cupid, god of love
    Momus, god of mockery
    Thespis, inventor of Greek drama
    Thalia, muse of comedy

    The Story of the Opera

    Prologue (The Birth of Comedy)
    Thespis plans with Cupid, Momus, and Thalia to give a lesson to mortals through a re-enactment of the means Jupiter used to cure his wife Juno of jealousy.

    ACT I
    After a storm, Mercury descends to King Cithearon. He attributes that storm to Jupiter’s impatience with Juno’s jealousy. The king suggests that Jupiter pretend to court the ugly but vain swamp-nymph Platée, in order to cure Juno of her jealousy. The conspirators depart as Platée arrives. Convinced that Cithaeron’s aloofness is a sign of his love, she tries to woo him. Irritated by his coldness, she accuses him of treachery. Mercury appears, and reveals that Jupiter wishes to marry Platée. A sudden storm signals Juno’s anger. Undaunted, Platée summons her fellow swamp-dwellers to enjoy the rain.

    INTERMISSION

    ACT II
    Mercury explains to Cithaeron that he has tricked Juno into going to Athens to look for Jupiter and his new love. He and the king hide as Jupiter arrives. Platée cautiously approaches him. Jupiter declares his love to the frightened nymph and prepares a party in her honor. Folly arrives to recount the story of Apollo’s pursuit of Daphne and they all dance. Folly then leads everyone in “a masterpiece of harmony,” in which they call on Hymen, goddess of marriage, to unite Jupiter and Platée.

    ACT III
    Juno arrives in a fury at her pointless trip to Athens, but Mercury persuades her to hide and observe the wedding ceremony. Platée appears, heavily veiled, in a frog-drawn chariot. She becomes increasingly impatient, observing that Cupid and Hymen are not yet present. At last Momus appears, dressed to look like Cupid. Explaining that Cupid is otherwise engaged, Momus presents Platée with the god’s wedding gifts: tears, sorrows, cries, languor. The nymph rejects these gifts. Three of Momus’s retinue dance as Jupiter begins the marriage oath. At last Juno strides in, tears off Platée’s veil and realizes her mistake. The gods depart, leaving the swamp denizens to laugh at Platée’s foolishness.

    Artists

    • Cithéron - David Pittsinger
    • Thespis - Norman Reinhardt
    • Thalie - Heidi Stober
    • Momus - Joshua Hopkins
    • Love - Leena Chopra
    • Mercury - Norman Reinhardt
    • Platée - Jean-Paul Fouchecourt
    • Clarine - Leena Chopra
    • Jupiter - Wilbur Pauley
    • Folly - Heidi Stober
    • Juno - Ariana Chris
    • Conductor - Harry Bicket
    • Director - Laurent Pelly
    • Scenic Designer - Chantal Thomas
    • Costume Designer - Laurent Pelly
    • Lighting Designer - Duane Schuler
    • Choreographer - Laura Scozzi
    • Chorus Master - Gregory Buchalter