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DIVINE COMEDY: Director Robert Carsen set his adaptation of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s famous comic opera “Platée,” in which the gods are haughty and play tricks on the earthlings, at Rue Cambon — with Karl Lagerfeld’s doppelgänger in the role of Jupiter.
The plot: Platée, an ugly water nymph, believes Jupiter, the king of the gods, is in love with her, only to find out that his romantic advances are part of a ludicrous scheme to cure Juno, Jupiter’s wife, of her jealousy.
This story first appeared in the March 26, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Rameau wrote the satire for the wedding of Louis, Dauphin of France, and Infanta Maria Theresa of Spain, who reportedly was no beauty either. First performed in 1745 in Versailles, the parody did not cost him his head — on the contrary, it was an instant success.
Fast forward to 2014: Jupiter has a white ponytail, wears dark sunglasses, skinny black tailoring and leather pants, and he steps down from Olympus via the famous mirrored staircase at Chanel’s headquarters.
Juno, alias Coco Chanel, clad in a tweed costume, rages with jealousy — until she actually meets the nymph. She knows: Jupiter could never fall for someone like Platée. The couple reconciles; Platée (sung by a high tenor) is left behind on Earth, lamenting her lot. She’s the ultimate fashion victim.
The Franco-Austrian production, which premiered in Vienna last week and is running in Paris through Sunday, will travel as a concert version to New York City’s Lincoln Center on April, 2, after a broadcast via Mezzo TV on Thursday in 43 countries.