Philidor's Les Femmes Vengées

Among the precedents for Mozart and Da Ponte’s final masterpiece, Così fan tutte, was Les Femmes Vengées (The Avenging Wives), a 1775 opéra-comique by Philidor and Sedaine. In a mirror image of Così’s plot, the women humorously uncover, punish, and forgive their husband’s infidelities. In Così, the pairs of lovers begin their familiar exploration of love and deception, guided by Don Alphonso’s challenge to the men; in Les Femmes Vengées, the four are older, married couples, and it is Despina’s counterpart Madame Riss who leads the wives to a better understanding of their husbands.

Reviews

The New York Times, "An American Company Brings a French Tradition Back to France," Celestine Bohlen, March 23, 2014 | Read Full Review

The Washington Post, "D.C.’s early-music company Opera Lafayette repeats the history that’s been forgotten," Anne Midgette, January 10, 2014 | Read Full Review

Opera Lively, "Les Femmes Vengées, Opera Lafayette at the Kennedy Center, Washington, DC," Hoffmann, January 18, 2014 | Read Full Review

Ion Arts, "Opera Lafayette: 'Les Femmes vengées'," Charles Downey, January 20, 2014 |
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Washington, DC:
Friday, January 17, 2014
Terrace Theater, The Kennedy Center

New York City:
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater Frederick P. Rose Hall

Versailles, France:
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Sunday, February 2, 2014
L'Opéra Royal, Château de Versailles Spectacles