Jephté , a compelling, musically inventive work, is Montéclair’s only tragédie lyrique , and the second of two works he composed for the Paris Opéra at the age of 65. It was an immediate success at its premiere and became something of a mainstay of French opera life, receiving over a hundred performances at the Paris Opéra alone in the three decades following its debut.

Jephté

Its innovations and vivid storytelling show Montéclair to be an important link between Lully and Rameau in the development of French opera, and tackles themes that would later take root in the operatic imagination. The opera tells the Old Testament story of Jephtha and his rash vow to sacrifice whoever is the first to greet him upon his return...