Gerd Albrecht: Gaspare Spontini Olympie, tragédie lyrique in three acts

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Act 1

Antigone, King of Greece, and Cassandre, King of Macedon, have been implicated in Alexander's murder. They have also been at war with one another but are now ready to be reconciled. Nevertheless, a new obstacle to peace arises in the form of the slave girl Aménais, with whom both the kings are in love. In reality, Aménais is Alexander the Great's daughter, Olimpie, in disguise. Statira, Alexander's widow and Olimpie's mother, has also assumed the guise of the priestess Arzane. She denounces the proposed marriage between "Aménais" and Cassandre, accusing the latter of Alexander's murder.

Act 2

Statira and Olimpie reveal their true identities to one another and to Cassandre. Olimpie defends Cassandre against Statira's accusations, claiming that he once saved her life. Statira is unconvinced and is still intent on revenge with the help of Antigone and his army.

Act 3

Olimpie is divided between her love for Cassandre and her duty to her mother. The troops of Cassandre and Antigone clash and Antigone is mortally wounded. Before dying he confesses he was responsible for the death of Alexander, not Cassandre. Cassandre and Olimpie are now free to marry.

Gaspare Luigi Pacifico Spontini (14 November 1774 -- 24 January 1851)

Work: Olympie, tragédie lyrique in three acts, first performance 22 December 1819, Grand Opéra, Paris. Revised version 28 February 1826, Opéra, Paris.

Libretto: Joseph Marie Armand Michel Dieulafoy / Charles Brifaut after Voltaire's tragedy with same name.

Ouverture 00:00
Chorus and recitative: Rejouis-toi, ville sacrée (Kör, L'Hiérophante) 08:47
Duo and chorus: Vous, amis de la gloire (Cassandre, Antigone, chorus) 13:07
Scene and air: Voici l'instant de lire dans son âme - O souvenir épouvantabile (Antigone, Cassandre) 19:21
Scene: Aurait-il pénétré ce funeste mystère? (Antigone, Cassandre, Hermas) 24:53
Recitative and air: O vous que ma reconnaissance - Auprès d'un amant si tendre (Olympie, Cassandre) 27:50
Duo and recitative: O doux accents! bonheur suprême! - Diane a désigné celle de nos prêtresses (L'Hiérophante, Olympie, Cassandre) 32:43
Marche réligieuse: Ah! voici le moment ou mon sort se décide (Antigone, chorus, Olympie, Cassandre) 39:39
Terzetto and ensemble: Dieux, auteurs de mon être (Olympie, Cassandre, Antigone, L'Hiérophante, chorus) 43:26
Finale: Arrêtez! Susendez ces profanes transports! (L'Hiérophante, Olympie, Cassandre, Antigone, chorus, Statira) 48:38

Olympie, daughter of Alexander the Great: Julia Varady
Statira, widow of Alexander the Great: Stefania Toczyska
Cassandre, son of the King of Macedonia: Franco Tagliavini
Antigone, general of Alexander, king of Greece: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
Hermas, confidante of Antigone: Josef Becker
Hiérofante, high priest: George Fortune

Chorus: RIAS Kammerchor & Männerchor der Deutschen Oper Berlin
Orchestra: RIAS Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
Conductor: Gerd Albrecht

Place: Ephesus
Time: Shortly after the death of Alexander the Great