Alceste
Alceste

Simplicity, truth and naturalness: these, according to Gluck, are the eternal attributes of beauty. In Act 1, Admetus (Admète), king of Thebes, is dying. Apollo's oracle announces that Admetus can live if someone takes his place. Alcestis (Alceste), the king's wife, offers herself to the underworld.

In Act II, Alcestis asks the gods if she can ...

Simplicity, truth and naturalness: these, according to Gluck, are the eternal attributes of beauty. In Act 1, Admetus (Admète), king of Thebes, is dying. Apollo's oracle announces that Admetus can live if someone takes his place. Alcestis (Alceste), the king's wife, offers herself to the underworld.

In Act II, Alcestis asks the gods if she can see her husband one more time. The city celebrates as the king returns to health, but no one can understand why Alcestis weeps. The truth slowly emerges and she bids farewell to life.

Act III sees Admetus imploring his wife to renounce her pact, but she remains true to her word and dies. After yet more mourning Apollo is forced to revoke his oracle's pact and restores Alcestis to life, reuniting her with her husband.

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