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More info on Polyeucto


Charles Gounod


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Polyeucto Synopsis


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About the opera Polyeucto

Polyeucte (French pronunciation: ) is an opéra by Charles Gounod based on the play about Saint Polyeuctus by Pierre Corneille. The libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré is more faithful to its source than Les martyrs, Scribe's adaptation for Donizetti, and Gounod hoped to express "the unknown and irresistable powers that Christianity has spread among humanity". The subject had occupied Gounod for some ten years. An initial delay was caused by a fire which destroyed the theatre of the Paris Opéra, the Salle Le Peletier, in October 1873. Further delay came about because the first draft remained in the hands of a jealous Georgina Weldon when he left England in 1874, and he had to resort to a lawsuit before resigning himself to recomposing the work from memory. It finally premiered at the Opéra's new house, the Palais Garnier on October 7, 1878 but was a failure, "the sorrow of my life" and closed after 29 performances. Polyeucte's aria "Source délicieuse" is sometimes heard in concert.
The subject is taken from Corneille's tragedy. The story, however, has here been somewhat differently treated. Félix, Proconsul of Armenia, has a daughter Pauline, who was at one time sought in marriage by the Roman general Sévère. Circumstances divided them, and Pauline gave her heart to Polyeucte, an Armenian Prince. At the opening the Christian faith is being propagated in Melitene, and Polyeucte has listened with a willing ear to the teachings of the new creed. Naturally the converts are subject to persecution, and a butchering is anticipated, when Sévère, who is approaching Melitene, after a successful campaign, enters in triumph.
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Roles in Polyeucto

Polyeucte Tenor
Sévère Baritone
Félix Bass
Néarque Baritone
Albin Bass
Siméon Bass
Sextus Tenor
A centurion Bass

More details roles

Popular videos from Polyeucto

All scenes from Polyeucto

Nr.Title scenePopularityOperaComposerActTypeVoicesLang.Roles
1Source delicieuse Popularity:

Opera: PolyeuctoComposer: GounodAct: 4

Type: Voice: tenorLanguage: French