Rameau — Le Temple de la Gloire
Rameau’s masterwork — Le Temple de la Gloire (The Temple of Glory) — has been given new life, presented in the original version Rameau intended, for the first time since the opera’s 1745 premiere, with the magnificent libretto by Voltaire. This version is based on the original manuscript, housed at U.C. Berkeley’s Hargrove Music Library; this multi CD set is from the performances at U.C. Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall, co-produced by Cal Performances and Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, representing a collaboration years in the making.
The version of this ballet héroïque that has been heard up until now is the second version which was substantially changed by Rameau to take into account the Parisian public’s aversion to moral maxims, and their preference for love scenes. Voltaire originally wanted this to be a philosophical reform of opera: an allegory around the idea of the temple of glory, a grandiose spectacle with moral and political overtones. This original 1745 version is much more spectacular, and its originality in the history of Enlightenment Theater calls for a twenty-first-century restaging.
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