judgment of paris
judgment of paris

About the Show

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Video of Act I

Sat 18 May 20:00
The Safe unternehmen mitte Gerbergasse 30

We will be filming the second Act of our show, The Beauty Pageant. If you'd like to be a part of our live studio audience, shoot an email to hermes @ mercury-arts dot com!

ACT I performed 28 and 29 April 2017 at the Sääli zum goldenen Fass Basel

Judgment of Paris

A Contest
In 1700, a group of London noblemen devised a contest to stimulate public interest in English-language opera. An ad in a local paper promised a cash prize for the best musical setting of a new libretto by the poet William Congreve, The Judgment of Paris. The operas were heard in turn in 1701, and the audiences voted on their favorite.
...in a Contest!
The libretto Congreve wrote for the contest is about a contest: The Judgment of Paris is the Greek myth in which Paris awards a golden apple to the most beautiful goddess: Athena, Juno, or Venus. For our production, we take our favorite settings from the three surviving contestant-composers, John Weldon, Daniel Purcell, and John Eccles.

During this period of theater, libretti were rife with libidinous innuendo and ribald comedy. Taking our cue from Paris's line, "...when each is undress'd, I'll judge of the best," Mercury Arts has transformed this divine beauty pageant into a farcical burlesque romp---replete with pasties, whips, and lingerie---true to the irreverant humor of Restoration English theater while preserving the baroque beauty of the original compositions.

Join us for an evening of gorgeous goddesses, divine music, and hearty laughter!