Rameau: La Folie’s Aria, from Platee

Here is a bit of opera from the height of the French Baroque era.

Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Platée is a comic opera of high jinks among gods of Roman myth. In the opera, Jupiter decides to have some cruel fun with a prank on Platée, an ugly water nymph. Jupiter convinces Platée that he loves her and wants to marry her. Before the phony wedding, a character named La Folie (“Madness”) intrudes on the scene with a show-stopping aria. Warning Platée not to fall for Jupiter, La Folie tells the story of Daphne, a nymph whose romantic entanglement with Apollo ended with her transformation into a tree.

In this broadly acted concert performance, Mireille Delunsch sings her bravura piece while repeatedly brushing the conductor aside and otherwise displaying the mad whims of La Folie.

Performed by François le Roux (Momus), Mireille Delunsch (La Folie) and Les Musiciens du Louvre, conducted by Marc Minkowski (7 minutes)

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