Philharmonic Baroque Orchestra & Chorale, Aaron Sheehan, Philippe-Nicolas Martin, Artavazd Sargsyan
Envy and her disciples use force to try to enter the mythological Temple of Glory, but Apollo and his Muses defeat her and chain her to the Temple for eternity. Only benevolent rulers, Apollo declares, may gain admission.
Princess Lydie despairs over the departure of her lover, King Belus, who has left to seek glory through battle. Belus arrives, demanding entry to the Temple, but is rejected because of his tyrannical behavior. Lydie and shepherds remind Belus that a good ruler spreads happiness rather than engage in war.
King Bacchus arrives, fresh from victory in Asia, boasting of his invention of wine. The High Priest denies him entry, since debauchery is not a virtuous characteristic.
Emperor Trajan’s wife, Plautine, begs for prayers for her husband’s success in battle in Armenia. Trajan arrives with five kings in chains, whom he has conquered in battle. He pardons them and sets them free. With this gesture, the character of Glory descends from the heavens, and offers Trajan a laurel wreath and an invitation to enter the Temple of Glory. Trajan proclaims that he is not worthy of such an honor and asks instead that the Temple be transformed into a Temple of Happiness, open to everyone.