Pinchgut Opera explores Rameau’s bizarre operatic love triangle.
New Zealand-born baritone Hadleigh Adams tapped into an unusual source of inspiration for his part in the French opera Castor et Pollux,which revolves around the fraternal love between the eponymous twin brothers. “On the plane heading here from London I watched the entire Lord of the Ringstrilogy,” he says, true to Kiwi form, “and after nine hours of Frodo and Sam I was in tears. It sounds silly, but the love they have is so real, so deeply profound, and in a way that will help me in this role.”
He turns to his Pinchgut Opera co-star, American tenor Jeffrey Thompson. “The intensity of wanting to protect you from the world at whatever cost – it’s such a rare thing in opera because there’s always a romantic element to that dynamic.”
There is indeed a romantic element to Rameau’s tragédie en musique,composed in 1737 and revived, in this version, in 1754. The immortal Pollux (Adams) and mortal Castor (Thompson), twin songs of Jupiter, are both besotted with princess Télaïre, who returns only Castor’s love. When Castor is killed in battle, Pollux relinquishes the chance...