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Amadis (Lully)

Amadis or Amadis de Gaule (Amadis of Gaul) is a tragédie en musique in a prologue and five acts by Jean-Baptiste Lully to a libretto by Philippe Quinault based on Nicolas Herberay des Essarts' adaptation of Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo's Amadis de Gaula. It was premiered by the Paris Opera at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal sometime from January 15 to 18, 1684.[1] There was a later production at Versailles without scenery or machines in 1685.[2]

Performance history

Amadis was the first tragédie en musique to be based on

Later developments

The opera went by the title Amadis until 1699 when another opera, Amadis de Grèce, by André Cardinal Destouches appeared. After this, the Lully-Quinault work was billed as Amadis de Gaule. This was also the title of an adaptation of the Quinault libretto with music by Johann Christian Bach, which premiered in Paris in 1779.[3]


Cast Voice type Premiere, c. January 15–18, 1684
(Conductor: - )
Alquif, sorcerer, husband of Urgande (prologue) baritone
Urgande, sorceress, wife of Alquif (prologue) soprano
Amadis, son of King Perion of Gaul haute-contre Louis Gaulard Dumesny
Oriane, daughter of King Lisuart of Britain soprano Fanchon Moreau
Florestan, illegitimate son of King Perion baritone Jean Dun
Corisande, Florestan's beloved, ruler of Gravesande soprano
Arcabonne, sorceress, sister of Arcalaus and Ardan Canile soprano Marie Le Rochois
Arcalaüs, sorcerer knight and brother of Ardan Canile and Arcabonne baritone
Ghost of Ardan Canile baritone
Followers, knights, soldiers, demons, nymphs, shepherds and shepherdesses, captives and gaolers, enchanted heroes and heroines etc.


A complex story of love and chivalry depicting the faithful love of Amadis and Oriane, opposed by the sorcerer family of Arcabonne and Arcalaus, with another pair of lovers, Florestan and Corisande, as a subplot.


  • Amadis Soloists, La Simphonie du Marais, conducted by Hugo Reyne (Accord, live recording, 3 CDs, 2006)




External links

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