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Platée

Director Neil Armfield makes his Pinchgut debut in a deliciously twisted comedy by one of the greatest French baroque composers.

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Category: Opera
Show: Platée
Company: Pinchgut Opera
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Platée

Date: 24 Nov 2021

Director Neil Armfield makes his Pinchgut debut in a deliciously twisted comedy by one of the greatest French baroque composers.

Rameau clearly enjoyed himself composing this one-of-a-kind comédie lyrique, for the marriage of the Dauphin Louis XV to the Princess Maria Teresa of Spain – reputedly a woman of very little beauty – telling the story of the irresistibly outlandish marsh nymph Platée being tricked into believing that Jupiter is in love and wants to marry her.

Rameau takes aim at the very nature of French opera itself, turning tradition on its head with music of exceptional brilliance and wit, and sweeping away the studied elegance of set-piece ballets with ravishing melodies and striking shifts of mood and colour.

Platée, says Artistic Director Erin Helyard, was “one of the very first comic operas to find widespread success. It’s hilarious! But it is more than just a comedy, it’s a masterpiece. The more you reflect on it, the more you see that beneath the comic sheen is a deep exploration of society and all of our foibles.

“Platée exposes our vanities, our desire for status and validation, and the awful and humiliating ways we exclude those we perceive to be different.”

Kanen Breen stars as Platée, alongside Peter Coleman-Wright, Cheryl Barker, Cathy-Di Zhang, Nicholas Jones, David Greco and Adrian Tamburini. Rameau’s ravishing score will be brought to life by the full forces of Pinchgut’s resident chorus, Cantillation, and 26 expert Baroque players of the Orchestra of the Antipodes, conducted by Erin Helyard.

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