Pygmalion times two this week, September 26 at 8PM, on The Lyric Stage
Jean-Phillipe Rameau was a prolific French composer from the early to mid 18th c. he is best known for his harpsichord pieces and his at least 31 operas, most of which survive today. His one act Pygmalion from 1748 is this week's feature on the Lyric Stage.
Rameau and his librettist, Ballot de Savot, based their story on the myth of Pygmalion as told in Ovid's Metamorphoses. In this version, the sculptor Pygmalion creates a beautiful statue to which he declares his love. His girlfriend, Céphise, begs for attention; Pygmalion spurns her and entreats the goddess Venus to bring his statue to life. Magically the statue comes to life, singing and dancing. Cupid arrives and praises Pygmalion for his artistry and faith in his oen powers. Much celebratory dancing and singing follows, attesting to the power of love. Cupid helpfully finds another lover for Céphis, Pygmalion’s left in the lurch girlfriend.
Another version of the legend appeared in 1955, Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady, based on Shaw’s Pygmalion. Julie Andrews and Rex Harrison will offer music from the original cast album.