Jean-Baptiste Lully: Amadis

“Amadis” is a music tragedy by Jean-Baptiste Lully based on a famous chivalric novel by Garci Rodrigez de Montalvo named “Amadis de Gaula”. It was staged for the first time in January 1684 . It was the first music tragedy created by Lully, while the plot was chosen by Louis XIV in person.

The plot so far: “The prologue opens with Amadis’ death. The sorceress Urgande & her husband Alquif have been immersed in a profound dream, but a new hero (Louis XIV), who aims to teach great people of Earth the art of war & reigning, breaks the spell.  Then the tragedy begins. Amadis is a brave knight in love with Oriane, a friend of his childhood. Their feelings are complicated: they pass from jealousy to reproaches. Another couple, Floresan & Corisande, is their opposition. At the same time there are love dissapointments in the magic world: the sorceress Arcabonne suffers from love to an unknown stranger who saved her life, while the evil Arcalaus makes her pregnant to revenge the death of their brother who was killed by Amadis. Both of them wish to kill the knight, so by means of magic powers they prison Amadis, Floresan & Corisande. Arcabonne desires to slaughter them but having recognized Amadis as her saviour she liberates everybody. While the evil Arcalaus has caught Oriane & is going to take her life. She manages to run away & meets her beloved sleeping. Supposing that he is dead, she is going to follow him. That instance the sorceress Urgande appears sailing by a ship shaped as a dragon. She helps the couple to escape & to make peace, while Arcabonne & Arcalaus commit a suicide. Amadis proves his fidelity passing through the magic arc & this way he saves other couples from evil spells”.

The plot has much in common with Ludovico Ariosto’s “Orlando Furioso”, on the other hand it raises plenty of important questions regarding love, fidelity & the magic playing its part in them.

Esteemed Readers, if you wish to read the novel, here is a link to Wikipedia. There is the Italian version. I have already downloaded it.

Vive le Roy! 🙂

Maria KethuProfumo


About kethuprofumo

Reconstructing the Past for the glorious Future
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19 Responses to Jean-Baptiste Lully: Amadis

  1. Thank you, Maria. The Italian version is a little beyond me, but thank you for the synopsis.

  2. fulvialuna1 says:

    Che trama complessa! Avvincente.

  3. theburningheart says:

    Ah! In Spanish we know Amadis de Gaula who inspired Cervantes to write his famous Quijote or Quixote in English.
    Don Quixote, has Garci Rodrigez de Montalvo’s Amadís as a point of reference throughout the entire novel, with some differences, to adapt to his madness, and doings through his knightly quest. 🙂

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