Destouches: Issé

Saturday 13 october 2018 - 7pm
Approximate duration: 
2h30 with intermission



André Cardinal, Seigneur Destouches’s life (1672-1749) is a story in itself: a student of the Jesuits, aged only 15, he went with them on a mission to Siam and entered the military career when he returned. On the battlefield (at the siege of Namur in 1692), he decided to become a musician and studied under Campra. His first opera was performed before Louis XIV in Fontainebleau in 1697: Issé, a heroic pastoral composition on a libretto by Houdar de la Motte who had just finished Europa Galante with Campra, created in Paris at that time. 


The light intrigue of Issé has all the required amorous twists and turns: Apollo, disguised as the shepherd Philemon, has turned his attentions to the nymph Issé… The king enjoyed the work and had it performed again in the Trianon in Versailles, it would be played for many years, with Madame de Pompadour still interpreting the role of the nymph in 1749.

Destouches composed many other operas until 1726, notably comedy-ballets and went on to become Superintendent of the Musique du Roi. However, Issé remains a key work of the period when opera was looking for its future, ten years after Lully’s death. Discover the freshness and spontaneity of this first work by Destouches brought back to audiences by Louis-Noël Bestion de Camboulas and his Surprises, with a magnificent cast.


Les Eléments, opera-ballet from André-Cardinal Destouches and Michel-Richard Delalande - Louis-Noël Bestion de Camboulas and l'ensemble Les Surprises

Coproduction: Centre de musique baroque de Versailles, Festival Baroque de Pontoise, Office Artistique de la région Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Supported by ADAMI and SPEDIDAM
Joint production (“coréalisation“): Opéra Royal / Château de Versailles Spectacles, Centre de musique baroque de Versailles 
Score published by the CMBV
This programme was recorded by the label Ambronay



André Cardinal Destouches (1672-1749)


Heroic pastoral opera with a prologue and three acts on a libretto by Antoine Houdar de la Motte.



Judith Van Wanroij* Issé

Chantal Santon-Jeffery* Doris

Mathias Vidal* Apollo (as the shepherd Philémon)

Matthieu Lecroart Jupiter, Pan

Thomas Dolié* Hylas

Eugénie Lefebvre* First Hesperides, A Dryad

Étienne Bazola Hercules, Grand Priest

Stephen Collardelle A shepherd, Sleep

*resident artist of the CMBV

Les Chantres du Centre de musique baroque de Versailles (Olivier Schneebeli, artistic director)

Ensemble Les Surprises
Louis-Noël Bestion de Camboulas Conductor