Synopsis: Les Indes galantes

von Jean-Philippe Rameau

The Amorous Indies

The youth of four European nations abandon the pleasures of the palace of Hebe to follow Bellona, the goddess of war. Cupid descends and sends his minions away to the furthest corners of the Indies to seek and create followers of Love.

ENTRÉE I: The generous Turk
The young French girl Emile has been captured and sold as a slave to the Pasha Osman. He falls in love with her, but she cannot forget Valère, a French sailor. Valère's ship runs aground, and he is captured and brought before the Pasha. Osman recognizes him as the one who liberated him from slavery and then releases him and Emile.

ENTRÉE II: The Incas of Peru
In the Peruvian desert the Incas are preparing their Festival of the Sun in the shadow of a volcano. A Spanish officer, Don Carlos, and a Peruvian girl, Phani, have fallen in love, but the High Priest Huascar disapproves and causes the volcano to erupt, claiming it as a sign of the sun god's displeasure. Don Carlos, wise to the deception, escapes with Phani, leaving Huascar to bring the volcano down upon his own head.

ENTRÉE Ill: The Flowers, a Persian festival
Tacmas, a young Persian prince, and his confidant Ali have fallen in love with each other's slaves: Tacmas with Zaïre and Ali with Fatima. On the day of the flower festival all four meet, but withTacmas disguised as a woman and Fatima as a man there is much confusion. When it emerges that each of the slaves loves the other's master, a swap is engineered and the new couples enjoy the festival.

ENTRÉE IV: The Savages
In an American forest, Adario, the commander of a defeated tribe of Indians, is preparing to celebrate peace with the victorious Europeans. He is in love with Zima, the chief's daughter, who is also desired by the Spaniard, Don Alvar, and the Frenchman, Damon. However, claiming that the Spaniard is too jealous a lover and the Frenchman too indifferent a one, Zima chooses Adario. The festivities culminate in a dance of the pipe of peace.