September 10, 1994 | San Francisco Opera
The Dangerous Liaisons
Composer:Conrad Susa
Librettist:Philip Littell
Madame de Merteuil, angry that her former lover, Gercourt, is marrying the young Cecile (who is secretly in love with Danceny) persuades Valmont to seduce Cecile and "ruin" her as a bride. Hesitant at first, because of his attempted conquest of, and involvement with, the innocent Madame de Tourvel, Valmont agrees to Merteuil's request after she promises him sexual favors. Danceny is asked to depart after Cecile's mother is warned, by Merteuil, that the couple has been exchanging love letters. Merteuil writes to Valmont, detailing her many love affairs with men (including, she neglects to mention, the young Danceny). Valmont seduces Cecile, but finds he is genuinely falling in love with Tourvel. Valmont and Tourvel finally yield to their love. Act II begins with Merteuil's demands that Valmont break off his relationship with Tourvel. He does so cruelly and she is emotionally devastated, eventually retiring to a convent. Valmont finds Merteuil in bed with Danceny and realizes that she has no intention of keeping her part of the bargain. Valmont and Merteuil declare war on one another. Merteuil reveals to Danceny that Cecile has miscarried Valmont's child and Danceny challenges him to a duel. As Tourvel falls ill at the convent, Danceny mortally wounds Valmont. In his last moments, Valmont speaks of revenge: He asks Danceny to publish his letters, which incriminate Merteuil, and he declares his love for Tourvel. As Tourvel dies, she also bequeathes a box of letters to Madame de Volanges. As the letters circulate, society comments on the moral lessons to be learned from their contents. Merteuil is disgraced by the letters, yet, defiantly, she survives.

Click company name to view productions details.
San Francisco OperaThe Dangerous Liaisons9/1/1994 - 9/27/1994

OPERA America/Opera.ca Grants Awarded
Click here to learn more about OPERA America granting programs.
The Next Stage1997
Opera for a New America 1994
Opera for a New America 1993
Opera for a New America 1992

Title Information

All information is derived from OPERA America's Season Schedule of Performances and titles databases which date back to 1991. OPERA America is constantly updating this data. If you feel that a work or an artist has been omitted or that information is incorrect, please use the linked forms below.
Title Information Form
Artist Information Form

Approximate Runtime (hh:mm)

Musical Style
Colorful orchestration; harmonically-based, chromatic, post-romantic language.

Vocal & Musical Forces
Three flutes (piccolo), 3 oboes (English horn), 3 clarinets (bass clarinet), 3 bassoons (contrabassoon), 4 horns, 3 trumpets (flugelhorn), 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, 3 percussion, harp, synthesizer, strings; SATB chorus; 12 chorus members offstage; 3 sopranos, 2 mezzos, tenor, baritone; others.

Original Cast
Original cast: Marquise de Merteuil, Frederica von Stade; Vicomte de Valmont, Thomas Hampson; Madame de Tourvel, Renée Fleming; Madame de Volanges, Judith Forst; Madame de Rosemonde, Johanna Meier; Cécile de Volanges, Mary Mills; Chevalier de Danceny, David Hobson; others.

actor id: 0
ind id: 0
memb level: 0
expiration date: 12:00:00 AM
current url: /Applications/NAWD/titles.aspx
Login As
* Visible only to OPERA America Administrators for testing purposes. Shows security cookie contents.
National Opera Center
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001
212.796.8620   •   Info@operamerica.com

Terms of Service   •   Privacy Policy   •   Copyright Policy   © Copyright 1995–2021 OPERA America Inc.