This mythical tale of a young queen, Alphise, determined to abdicate rather than contemplate an enforced marriage to a descendant of Boreas, is nothing less than highly-charged. Her forbidden love for Abaris is reciprocated, but seems hopeless until his divine origins are revealed, whereupon darkness is turned to light and Boreas's dingy domain is suffused with glowing colours, both literally and metaphorically. It is Rameau who emerges as the real hero of Les Boreades, in bold rhythms and daring melodic lines, threatening tempest and torture scenes and uninhibited choruses. Written in 1763, the opera was abandoned in rehearsal, for reasons still unclear. Rameau died the following year and the work disappeared from public view for more than 200 years. In this production, Director Robert Carsen and his creative team flood the stage by turns with summer blossoms, mountainous piles of autumn leaves, harsh winter snows and thunderous spring storms. The cast of 140, including soloists, chorus and dancers are attired in costumes inspired by late 1940s Dior.