Lalo’s Le Roi d’Ys
Nov 5, 2005 1:49 am
There is a rare chance to hear Lalo’s opera Le Roi d’Ys this weekend on Espace 2 from Lausanne (http://www.rsr.ch/view.asp?DomId=3) at 2:00 pm EST. The recording was made in 1957. I have never heard this version but the cast looks like it might be good with Rita Gorr as Margared and conducted by André Cluytens.
The story is based upon an old Breton legend that when the tide is low and the sea is calm, you can hear the bells ringing from the top of the bell tower of the accursed Cathedral of Ys as it emerges from the water for just a few moments before it once again sinks into the ocean. This legend was also the basis for “La Cathédrale engloutie” from Debussy’s Préludes.
The story goes something like this. Magared and Rozenn, daughters of the King of Ys, love Mylio. But the warrior has only eyes for Rozenn. In revenge Magared betrays her father’s city to Karnac, a defeated enemy. To him she gives the keys of the sluices which stand between the town and the sea. When the town and all its inhabitants are about to swept away, the girl in remorse throws herself into the sea. St. Corentin, patron saint of Ys, accepts her sacrifice and the sea abates.