Synopsis: Acis et Galatée

from Jean-Baptiste Lully

Acis and Galatea

Diana announces the arrival of the dauphin; an entertainment is planned for him. Apollo descends and pays homage to the dauphin's father, Louis XIV.

The shepherd Acis loves the sea nymph Galatea (Galatée), while his companion Telemus (Téléme) loves the shepherdess Scylla. Both bemoan the fact that their love is unrequited. A group of shepherds sing of the joys of love, but flee at the arrival of the cyclops Polyphemus (Polypheme). The cyclops also loves Galatea: she plays along with him in order to protect the shepherds.

Acis berates Galatea for agreeing to attend the festivities that Polyphemus is arranging in her honour. When he threatens to confront the cyclops, she explains that she is merely trying to appease Polyphemus and that she really loves Acis. The couple plan to marry at the temple of Juno. When Polyphemus asks Galatea to be his bride, she tells him that she must first seek permission from her father Nereus.

Polyphemus is enraged to discover that Acis and Galatea are to be married. He murders Acis by crushing him with a huge rock. When Galatea discovers his body, she wishes to avenge his death and turns to the Gods for help. Neptune (Polyphemus's father) emerges from the sea and restores Acis to life by transforming him into a river, thus uniting the couple for ever.