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Luigi Cherubini 1760 - 1842 IT 1*
Médée FR - 1797 1* - Tragédie en musique
Original - UK - FR/UK - Print Version

Act 1


Scene 1

Dircé's handmaidens attempt to cheer her as her wedding to Jason approaches.
However Dircé fears for her marriage and future. If Jason could leave his first wife, Médée, she fears he may also abandon her.
At last she is reassured by her handmaidens.
Dircé calls on the goddess Hymen to dispel her fears and keep the fatal stranger who seduced a hero far from her

Scene 2

Créon assures Jason that his children will be safe from their mother and from the son of Pélias, who pursues Médée to avenge his father.
Jason asks Dircé to accept tribute from his Argonauts.

Scene 3

The people proclaim Jason's golden fleece a fitting tribute to the beautiful Dircé.
But Dircé becomes upset at the mention of Colchos.
The procession comes to a halt and Jason and Créon ask Dircé what troubles her.
Jason's abandonned wife remains the cause of her Tears: Médée, whose name itself inspires fear. She imagines Médée coming sword in hand to reclaim her husband.
Jason reassures her that Médée is powerless far away and perhaps even dead.
Dircé remains fearful.
Jason swears that he is separated forever from the cruel wife and the mistaken marriage he endured for too long and that nothing will separate him from Dircé
Créon tells his daughter to forget her premonitions and leave the future to the gods.

Scene 4

A strange woman is announced - a priestess of the temple of Apollo who will reveal the oracles of the gods.
She wears a long veil hiding her face and is accompanied by one slave.

Scene 5

The stranger enters and her voice sends chills of fear throughout the crowd.
She tells the people and king of Corinth that she means them no harm, she seeks only Jason.
The woman removes her veil.
Jason recognizes Médée and the crowd which has followed her disperses in fear.

Scene 6

Médée confronts Jason, saying that she has come to avenge herself.
Créon in turn confronts Médée and threatens punishment.
Médée repeats that she does not mean to frighten Créon or his people; she comes to reclaim her unfaithful husband.
Dircé fears that her premonitions are coming to pass, but Créon assures her that Médée's threats will end before the sun sets.
Médée repeats her threats: Créon must not allow this marriage or they will all know Médée's fury.
Dircé faints and Créon theatens to turn Médée over to the son of Pélias (Acaste).
Médée starts one more threat, but stops short: The enemies who are not to be feared have nothing to fear from her.
Créon tells Médée that it is her turn to tremble - today will be her last.
Dircé and her handmaidens pray to heaven for help.

Scene 7

Médée reminds Jason that she is responsible for all his good fortune.
Jason admits that she is responsible for his illustrious victory, but rejects the terrible crimes she has committed.
Médée tells Jason that they are also his crimes; she did everything for him. If she was willing to betray and abandon her father and kill her brother and King Pélias to prove her faith to him, what will she not dare to do now to avenge herself on him.
Jason says that he broke the bonds of a shameful marriage and sought safety for his children in Corinth, and he does not regret these actions.
Médée pleads with Jason one last time.