William Christie first resussitated Lully's masterpiece in 1987. It caused a real stir in the operatic and classical musical field.
The work was brought on stage during that year, as well as being recorded on CD.
For various reasons, the cast on this CD is different from the video recording, with different leads.
In the title role here, we have Belgian tenor Guy de Mey. As I have expected, he delivered 101% of the role of Atys in this recording.
I have no idea why he wasn't singing this role in that grand production, suffice to mention that he would most probably not 'look' the part. Even so, his voice is of exceptional beauty to my ears: it is distinctively baroque, lyrical and light, yet carries full-bodied tone colours and never sounds thin or flat. He always sings in great expressivity; in short, a vocalist of the very top calibre.
As the Cybele the goddess, mezzo-soprano Laurens is highly convincing - she sounds authoritative, pathetic and demanding in turns. Agnes Mellon as the lover Sangaride is of limpid and girlish tone and depicts the character very well.
Unlike the video productions of 1987 and 2011, Celenus here isn't portrayed by Rivenq, but Gardeil.
The story of Atys is magically tragic, smacking of Daphne and Apollo's tale. The music represents Lully at his very best, and the performance under the direction of Christie is nothing short of being exemplary.
If you find the DVD of Atys issued in 2011 interesting and lovely, this CD version would undoubtedly make you crave for even more!