Iphigénie en Tauride

Click on each thumbnail image above to view larger images.

Iphigénie en Tauride (Iphigenia in Tauris)
Christoph Willibald Gluck
Opera Atelier production, October 2003
with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Artists of Atelier Ballet
Elgin Theatre, Toronto

Gluck’s reform opera Iphigénie en Tauride premiered at the Opéra in Paris, 1779. The opera deals with the story of Iphigenia, daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra. She is rescued from a sacrificial death through the intervention of the goddess Diana and spirited to the barbaric island of Tauris, where she is revered as a priestess. During the course of the opera she is rescued by her brother Orestes and his companion Pylades, and safely returned to Greece.

Opera Atelier staged Iphigénie en Tauride as a melodrama in all its glory. The production propelled the company into the romantic aesthetic while staying firmly in the tradition of tragédie lyrique. This 2003 production was Canada’s first staged production of Iphigénie en Tauride accompanied on original instruments and was conducted by Andrew Parrott.

Gerard Gauci: This late 18th-century work looked back to ancient Greece and forward to the neoclassical craze that overtook Europe in the 19th century. These designs reflect the bold colours found on ancient frescoes and ceramics, and reject the scrolling florid rococo style of the previous period. The columned temple interior recalls the Greek and Roman-inspired backgrounds found in neoclassical paintings of Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825).