Sabine Devieilhe has long left the ranks of the insider’s tips, developing into one of the most interesting young singers on the concert and opera scene today. After her success as Marie in La Fille du régiment at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the young French coloratura soprano begins her new season in a new production of Rameau’s Les Indes galantes at the Opéra Bastille.
Les Indes galantes, Rameau’s first opera-ballet, is a masterwork of Enlightenment and a fascinating spectacle. It is also testament to the Europeans’ ambivalent attitude towards other peoples – thus, Rameau has a Turkish pasha, Incas from Peru and North American “savages” appear in his opera.
With Les Indes galantes, Rameau expanded the genre of the opera-ballet by a piece of the highest musical quality. That love in whichever form always trumps war and violence – that is the theme introduced by the goddess Hébé and her counterpart Bellone in the prologue. This leads into four stories in which a woman (high voice) is menaced by a villain (low voice) and then saved by her beloved (high voice) – all four conform roughly to this pattern. In 2017 the film director Clément Cogitore produced an explosive and highly acclaimed film version of an excerpt of Les Indes galantes. Together with choreographer Bintou Dembélé, this time he delves into Rameau’s treasure trove of delights, transforming it again into an urban and political setting whose boundaries he explores.
Sabine Devieilhe’s etherical, yet colourful and substantive coloratura soprano might have been created to make the wonderful coloratura cascades in Rameau’s arias resound. At the same time, her voice has the requisite warmth, drawing on a great palette of colours and emotions.
Sabine Devieilhe, Hébé, Phani, Zima
Florian Sempey, Bellone, Adario
Jodie Devos, L'amour, Zaïre
Edwin Crossley-Mercer, Osman, Ali
Julie Fuchs, Émilie, Fatime
Mathias Vidal, Valère, Tacmas
Alexandre Duhamel, Huascar, Don Alvar
Stanislas de Barbeyrac, Don Carlos, Damon
Leonardo García Alarcón, Conductor
Orchestre Cappella Mediterranea
Chœur de chambre de Namur
Clément Cogitore, Director
Alban Ho Van, Stage Design
Sylvain Verdet, Light
Bintou Dembélé, Choreographer