Gallant Indies – Jean-Philippe Rameau

Opera ballet “Les Indes galantes” (gallant Indies) by Jean-Philippe Rameau, staged for the first time in Romania by director Andrei Serban


In this tormented landscape of life, the envy, frustration, resentment up rule, known as a Baroque opera gallant Indies not only make us happy. First Rameau’s music is beautiful, sincere, pure. Listening to her breathe air you think upper removable Olympian indifference to the miseries of the moment. The subject is love, or more specifically looking for them in various exotic locations on imaginary shores, where there is frustration, hatred and none of the negative feelings that we face daily. This music makes us nowhere to walk over all these adversities intermdiul Through song and dance, we share a few moments of light. Rameau really think they have a magic elixir.
He could not find a more fitting occasion to celebrate this symbolic music and theater hall in Iasi, splendidly renovated festive than this masterpiece.

Andrei Serban

Scene: The palace of Hebe in the background and her gardens in the wings

Hebe, goddess of youth, summons her followers to take part in a festival (Air: Vous, qui d’Hébé suivez les lois). Young French, Spanish, Italians and Poles rush to celebrate with a series of dances, including a musette. The ballet is interrupted by the noise of drums and trumpets. It is Bellona, goddess of war, who arrives on the stage accompanied by warriors bearing flags. Bellona calls on the youths to seek out military glory (Air and chorus: La Gloire vous appelle). Hebe prays to Cupid (L’Amour) to use his power to hold them back. Cupid descends on a cloud with his followers. He decides to abandon Europe in favour of the “Indies”, where love is more welcome.

Entrée I – Le turc généreux (The Generous Turk)
Scene: The gardens of Osman Pasha bordering the sea

Osman Pasha is in love with his slave, the young Émilie, but she rejects him, telling him she was about to be married when a group of brigands abducted her. Osman urges her to give up hope that her fiancé is still alive (Air: Il faut que l’amour s’evole) but Émilie refuses to believe this is true. The sky turns dark as a storm brews; Émilie sees the violent weather as an image of her despair (Air: Vaste empire des mers). A chorus of shipwrecked sailors is heard (Chorus: Ciel! de plus d’une mort). Émilie laments that they too will be taken captive. She recognises one of the sailors as her fiancé Valère. Their joy at their reunion is tempered by sadness at the thought they are both slaves now. Osman enters and is furious to see the couple embracing. However, unexpectedly, he announces he will free them. He too has recognised Valère, who was once his master but magnanimously freed him. Osman loads Valère’s surviving ships with gifts and the couple praise his generosity. They call on the winds to blow them back to France (Duet and chorus: Volez, Zéphyrs). The act ends with celebratory dances as Valère and Émilie prepare to set sail.

Entrée II – Les incas du Pérou (The Incas of Peru)
Scene: a desert in Peru with a volcano in the background

Carlos, a Spanish officer, is in love with the Inca princess Phani. He urges her to escape with him but she fears the anger of the Incas, who are preparing to celebrate the Festival of the Sun. Nevertheless, she is prepared to marry him (Air: Viens, Hymen). The Inca priest Huascar is also in love with Phani but suspects he has a rival and decides to resort to subterfuge, Huascar leads the ceremony of the adoration of the Sun, which is interrupted by a sudden earthquake. Huascar declares this means the gods want Phani to choose him as her husband. Carlos enters and tells Phani the earthquake was a trick, artificially created by Huascar. Carlos and Phani sing of their love while Huascar swears revenge (Trio: Pour jamais). Huascar provokes an eruption of the volcano and is crushed by its burning rocks.

Entrée III – Les fleurs (The Flowers)
First version.
Scene: The gardens of Ali’s palace
Prince Tacmas is in love with Zaïre, a slave belonging to his favourite Ali, even though he has a slave girl of his own, Fatime. Tacmas appears at Ali’s palace disguised as a merchant woman so he can slip into the harem unnoticed and test Zaïre’s feelings for him. Zaïre enters and laments that she is unhappily in love (Air: Amour, Amour, quand du destin j’éprouve la rigueur). Tacmas overhears her and is determined to find out the name of his rival. Fatime now enters, disguised as a Polish slave, and Tacmas believes he has found Zaïre’s secret lover. Enraged, he casts off his disguise and is about to stab Fatime when she too reveals her true identity. It turns out that Zaïre has been in love with Tacmas all along just as Fatime has been in love with Ali. The two couples rejoice in this happy resolution (Quartet: Tendre amour) and the act ends with the Persians celebrating the Festival of Flowers.

Second Version.
Sultana Fatime suspects her husband Tacmas of cheating on her with Atalide; she therefore disguises herself as a slave, succeeding in gaining Atalide’s confidence and eventually recognises her suspicions are groundless. The happy couple take part in the Festival of Flowers.

Entrée IV – Les sauvages (The Savages)
Scene: The stage shows a grove in a forest in America, on the borders of the French and Spanish colonies, where the ceremony of the Peace Pipe is about to be celebrated

Adario, a native American, is in love with Zima, daughter of a native chief, but he fears the rivalry of the Spaniard Don Alvar and the Frenchman Damon (Air: Rivaux des mes exploits, rivaux des mes amours). The Europeans plead with Zima for her love, but she says Damon is too fickle and Alvar is too jealous; she prefers the natural love shown by Adario (Air: Sur nos bords l’amour vole) and the couple vow to marry (Duet: Hymen, viens nous unir d’une chaîne éternelle). The act ends with the Europeans joining the natives in the ceremony of peace (Chorus: Forêts paisibles).