Act One - The countryside, near Thebes
The shepherds are returning home, at the twelfth hour, as is the custom (Choeur des bergers ‘Voici la douzième heure’). They stop to let the members of the City Council pass, and to give them respect for continuing their duties in protecting the people (‘Conseil municipal de la ville de Thèbes’). In front of the councillors comes L’Opinion Public (Public Opinion), who introduces herself to the crowd, and to the audience (‘Qui je suis?’). L’Opinion Public, like the chorus in Greek theater, is not simply a bystander commenting on the action, but will get involved to make sure the action adheres to the accepted standards of morality. Now, she lets the show continue by introducing the approaching Eurydice.
Eurydice has been collecting flowers to make a garland, which she hangs on the door of Aristée’s hut (‘La femme dont le coeur reve’). As she sings she asks anyone listening not to tell her husband about the flowers that she is leaving for the
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