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Autumn 2017

Jean-Philippe Rameau

Rameau’s ravishing, romantic tale of love and war
Autumn 2017


Act I

A mausoleum of fallen Phrygian soldiers

Dardanus is victorious in battle but sets the Phrygians free. Iphise, the daughter of king Teucer, is secretly in love with him, despite Dardanus being her father’s enemy. Full of shame, she tries to exorcise her love. Teucer has news of a military alliance, revealing that Iphise is to be betrothed to Anténor, the Phrygians’ new ally. Teucer and Anténor swear allegiance and, with the Phrygian people, they invoke the aid of the gods. Anténor sets off to fight Dardanus. Distraught, Iphise appeals to Isménor, a soothsayer, for help.

Act II

Isménor’s solitary refuge

Isménor reveals his powers. Dardanus crosses enemy lines to visit Isménor because he is in love with Iphise. Isménor gives Dardanus a mysterious gift that will make him appear as the magician. He warns Dardanus of the perils ahead. In turn, Anténor and Iphise come to consult ‘Isménor’ (who is really Dardanus in disguise). Anténor is terrified that Iphise may be in love with someone else, while Iphise asks to be released from her love of Dardanus. Dardanus reveals himself and declares his feelings, but Iphise flees in panic. Anténor contemplates the battle ahead and the agony of unrequited love.


The grounds of Teucer’s palace

Dardanus has been captured. Iphise despairs at losing him. Anténor realises who Iphise
is in love with. Despite pressure from Anténor and the Phrygian people, Teucer refuses to kill Dardanus. Anténor, with the help of the guard Arcas, plots to kill his enemy. A Phrygian woman calls for a time of love and peace.

Act IV

A prison

Dardanus laments his fate. Isménor appears and calls on Dardanus to appeal to Cupid for help. Isménor foretells of Dardanus’ release but warns that the liberator will become the victim and die. Iphise tries to set Dardanus free but he refuses her help. A battle between Dardanus’ and Teucer’s soldiers rages above. Anténor, remorseful and now mortally wounded, warns Dardanus of his conspiracy against him. On releasing Dardanus, Anténor dies.

Act V

The grounds of Teucer’s palace

Dardanus triumphs over Teucer’s army. Iphise is torn between filial devotion and her love for Dardanus. As a prisoner, Teucer remains unbendable and refuses to give in to Dardanus. Dardanus puts his life into the king’s hands and asks him to decide his fate. Teucer yields, and Venus arrives to uphold and celebrate the union between Dardanus and Iphise. Peace is restored.