The Sunday Opera: Marc Antoine Charpentier's "Medee"

Jan 11, 2018

Detail of Alphone Mucha poster of Sarah Bernhardt as Medea

The Sunday Opera this week (1/14  3:00 p.m.) is turning to the ancient Greeks for the subject of Marc Antoine Charptentier’s “Medee,” the tragedy surrounding the sorceress who helped Jason, the man with whom she fell in love, steal the Golden Fleece.  She betrays her country and king (her father) and kills her brother in order for them to escape only then to be betrayed by Jason, leading to her murdering her children.  

The 1994 recording features Lorraine Hunt in the title role, Mark Padmore as Jason, Monique Zanetti as Creuse, the object of Jason’s desire, Bernard Deletre as Creon, Creuse’s father, and Jean-Marc Salzmann as Oronte, the man to whom Creuse is betrothed.  After the opera, more music of Charpentier will be on offer when Michael Kownacky airs a one-act opera written for the court of Louis XIV entitled “Les plaisirs de Versailles.”  It’s an allegorical look at life in the court through the arts.