Paris and Helen (Parid ed Elena)

“Paride ed Elena” is an opera by Christoph Gluck, the third and final of his Italian works, following “Orfeo and Euridice” and “Alceste”. The libretto was written by the Italian poet and librettist Ranieri de' Calzabigi. Reformers both of them, they tried to distance their work from the austere conventions of the tragic genre to create new operatic forms.

The composer created a delicate sensual piece that had a long-lasting impact in lyric tragedy and is now part of the history of music. The opera tells the story of the events between the judgment of Paris and the flight of Paris and Helen to Troy. It premiered at the Burgtheater, in Vienna, on November 3, 1770.

Gluck dedicated this opera to a Portuguese aristocrat, D. João Duque de Lafões, residing at the time in Vienna, who would later establish the Lisbon Academy of Sciences.

The invitation made to Clara Andermatt by the Opera Studio of Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa (ESML), to develop this project with the school’s students, constituting the very first time the stage version of this opera was ever presented in Portugal.

Clara Andermatt has a trajectory marked by a very close relationship with music, and she was joined with students, former students and ESML teachers to create a new project where music, space and movement merge into a highly emotional atmosphere, where Gods and Men conspire in the name of love.


Act I – Shore near the City of Sparta

Act II – A room in the Royal Palace of Sparta

Act III – Royal Palace of Sparta

Act IV – The King’s dwellings

Act V – Palace gardens


Mise-en-Scène: Clara Andermatt | artistic Director of the Opera Studio of Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa (ESML), critical edition and music rehearsals: Nicholas McNair | soloists: Carmen Matos, Marina Pacheco, Sara Carolina Marques, Sónia Alcobaça | musical direction: Clara Alcobia Coelho | set and light designer: Rui Horta | costume designer: Aleksandar Protic | choir of the ESML Opera Studio (Dir. Clara Alcobia Coelho): sopranos - Teresa Duarte, Rita Marques, Ana Sofia Ventura, Marta Garcia; contraltos - Raquel Fernandes, Cláudia Nunes, Marta Cepêda, Laura Lopes; tenors - Avelino Abreu, Pedro Matos, Rui Aleixo, Pedro Cachado; basses - Eduardo Martins, Ruben Rodeia, Gustavo Lopes | ESML Ancient Music Orchestra (Dir. Pedro Castro): violin - Stephen Bull, Miguel Vasconcelos; viola - Catarina Silva; cello - Raquel Merrelho; contre bass - Cristiana Sousa; harpsichord - Catarina Melo; oboe - Salomé Alves, João Balegas; flute - Alexandrina Faria, Dina Hernandez; trumpet - Danny Cruz, Catarina Diniz; basson - Paulo Sousa; percussion - João Luis Lopes | assistant to the mise-en-scéne: Madalena Brak-Lamy | technical direction: Luís Bombico | executive production: ACCCA Companhia Clara Andermatt and O Espaço do Tempo | head of production: Alexandra Sabino | subtitling operation: Nuno da Rocha | tour manager: Ana Carina Paulino | co-production: Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa, ACCCA Companhia Clara Andermatt, O Espaço do Tempo and São Luiz Teatro Municipal | acknowledgments: Stephen Bull, Movimento de Expressão Fotográfica, José Cedoura, Jonas Runa, Festival Cistermúsica and Theatro Circo de Braga

Photos by IPL/ Vanessa de Sousa

Next creation

Dez Mil Seres (Ten Thousand Beings)

< back