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The Sunday Opera: Jean-Philippe Rameau's "Zoroastre"


The music of Jean-Philippe Rameau will be featured on this week’s Sunday Opera (2/21 3:00 p.m.) with the 1756 version of his epic battle between good and evil entitled “Zoroastre.”  The prophet Zoroaster is in love with Amelite who is the presumptive heir to the newly vacant throne of Bactria.  Amelite’s sister, Erinice, plots with the evil sorcerer Abramane to seize the throne and banish Amelite, partially because of her jealousy of Amelite after being rejected by Zoroastre.  The battle rages over five acts with furies, genies, demons, gods, and a fiery chariot and still manages to come to a mystically happy ending after Zoroaster dispatches the evil sorcerer and his minions with lightning bolts.  The cast on this 1983 recording includes John Elwes, Greta de Reyghere, Mieke van der Sluis, Agnes Mellon, Gergory Reinhart, and Jacques Bona who are joined by the Collegium Vocale and the Gent and La Petite Band with Sigiswald Kuijken, conducting.

Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.