Rameau: Platee (Laurent Naouri/ Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble/ Marc Minkowski/ Mireille Delunsch/ Paul Agnew/ Vincent Le Texier/ Yann Beuron) (Arthaus Dvd: 107335)
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The creative team that triumphed with the Theatre du Chatelet production of Offenbach's La Belle Helene, turned their talents to Platee in this Opera de Paris staging, premiered in 1999 to great acclaim and reprised in 2002, when this recording was made at the magnificent Palais Garnier. Their handling of Rameau's burlesque on the vicissitudes of love, a piece in which the composer also cocked a snook at the sacrosanct rules of eighteenth-century French opera, is a"pure joy from start to splashing finish" (Wall Street Journal Europe). In the realm of the ancient gods, Mercury and Cithaeron persuade Jupiter that he can cure his wife Juno's obsessive jealousy by setting up a mock marriage between himself and Plataea, an astonishingly ugly but supremely self-confident marsh nymph who rules a realm of frogs. When Juno sees how ridiculous the situation is, they argue, her jealousy will vanish. Rameau used Jupiter's feigned courtship of Plataea - during which he appears as a donkey, an owl, a cloud and a shower of fireworks - to gleefully parody every eighteenth-century musical convention in the book, as the music gurgles, hiccups, croaks and brays.
"Here, everything works together to produce a close-to-perfect performance (...)Tenor Yann Beuron is at his boyishly charming best as a glittering, silver-suited, rock-star Mercury. Soprano Mireille Delunsch does a superb vocal and comic star turn as 'La Folie', a prima diva wearing a ball gown of sheet music. And tenor Paul Agnew, in a fishnet body stocking and a pink flower-petal tutu, is absolutely sensational as the ever-hopeful, undaunted green queen of the frogs."Wall Street Journal Europe
"Laurent Pelly's staging of Platee is an exhilarating display of gags and West Side Story dance routines mixed in with satirical rap...Marc Minkowski conducting the excellent Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble was the instigator of a sparkling orchestral fete".(Opera Now)