Description: Libretto of the opera "Phaeton," by Philippe Quinolt. The plot is based on an episode in Ovid's Metamorphoses. In the plot, Phaethon, son of Climène and Soleil [the Sun], is filled with excessive ambition and pride. He abandons his beloved, Théone, and requests to the King of Egypt the hand of his daughter Libie. Climène, who after consulting the sea god Proteus knows of the demise that her son's avarice will bring upon himself, tries in vain to discourage his ambition for the throne of Egypt and urges him to renew his love for Theona. However, Phaeton goaded by the taunts of his rival, Epaphus, rides recklessly across the sky in his father's chariot. The spectacular ending includes Jupiter's thunderbolts aimed at stopping Phaethon's wild ride, and Phaethon crashing onto earth where he dies. An ensemble and chorus provide a sorrowful denouement. On the title page for this opera, there is a lithograph illustration of the god Apollo holding a lyre and the goddess Euterpe playing a stringed instrument that resembles a guitar. It also depicts the fleur de lis, and on the background, an allegorical image Louis XIV, the Sun King. It also includes an engraved frontispiece titled, "Le trébuchement de Phaeton" (The Fall of Phaeton) by Jean le Pautre.
Creator: Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688.
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