Lemoyne’s Phèdre: intense mythological drama at the Bouffes du Nord

Lemoyne: Phèdre ****

Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, Paris, 8th June 2017

If you’d told me that Phèdre had been composed by Gluck, I’d have completely believed you. Instead, the composer of this tragédie lyrique was Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne (1751-1796) of whom I knew absolutely nothing. He was, apparently, an admirer of Gluck and Phèdre contains many of the ingredients present in a score such as Iphigénie en Tauride, pushing the boundaries of Classical opera to its limits. Simply staged and presented without interval in the compact, antique space of the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord – Peter Brook’s Parisian base for years – it provided 90 minutes of music drama packed with astonishing intensity.

Judith van Wanroij (Phèdre)
© Grégory Forestier

Read the full review on Bachtrack.

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