Opéra en 4 actes et 10 tableaux
Composer : Jules Massenet (1842–1912)
Libretto : Louis Gallet, Adolphe D’Ennery & Edouard Blau, after Pierre Corneille’s ‘Le Cid’ (1606) and Guilhen de Castro’s work (1618)
First performance : Théâtre National de l’Opéra (Palais Garnier), 30 November 1885
SETTING : Spain, during the Reconquista (11th century)
PLOT : To avenge an insult to his father, Rodrigue provokes and kills the father of Chimène, his fiancée. She can no longer love Rodrigue and, to avenge her father, must demand his punishment. But the king needs Rodrigue to combat the Moors. He returns covered in glory, and is hailed as ‘Cid campeador’ (chief warrior). The hour of punishment comes and the king decides that Chimène, the plaintiff, will pronounce the sentence. Despite her chagrin, she ends by pardoning him. The Cid, knowing his guilt, is ready to kill himself but Chimène herself stops his hand; honour and love are safe and the king unites the young people.
No. 10 – Air : ‘De cet affreux combat je sors l’âme brisée… Pleurez, pleurez mes yeux !’
Alone in her rooms, Chimène weeps both for her dead father and for her love for her father’s killer, Rodrigue.
Chimène (dramatic soprano): Béatrice Uria-Monzon
Conductor : Jacques Lacombe
Orchestre & Chœur de l’Opéra de Marseille
Marseilles, 17 June 2011