HERMES 2019: Court Music of Louis XIV
1. King Hermes MMXIX – Hail, King Hermes leading his Krewe on its 79th Carnival pageant in New Orleans!
2. Hermes, Messenger of Dreams: Our namesake deity, Hermes, gestures to New Orleans with his gilded scepter, Caduceus. He inspires awe and dreams of ancient tales of his glory.
3. Ambassadors to the Court: All hail the officers and ambassadors of the Krewe of Hermes!
4. Maia, Mother of Hermes: Daughter of Atlas, mother of the Olympian Hermes, renowned herald of the gods.
5. Abode of Hermes: The Realm of Hermes is glorified by a triumphant medallion bearing the likeness of our beloved deity, portraying his majestic, winged likeness, gazing down upon us from Olympus with regal equanimity.
6. The Great Mogul: The Mogul is seated before an enormous opal, one of the many glittering and bejeweled gifts offered to him on his birthday, a hint of what followed in that extravagant parade.
7. St. George and the Dragon: A magnificent sculpture of St. George killing the dragon rises at the front of the float. The scene is also depicted on the sides, while the top portion is bedecked with large flowers and heraldic shields.
8. The Gardens of Adonis: Adonis, worshiped as the god of vegetation, is depicted on a large oval surrounded by ears of corn and other leafy greens and flowers.
9. Title Float: “Court Music of Louis XIV” has been chosen by Hermes as the theme of his pageant for 2019.
10. LOUIS XIV: The famous Bernini bust of the Sun King appears in monumental form together with signs and symbols of his extraordinary reign.
11. Te Deum: Mass and Te Deums were performed daily for the court. France was considered the eldest daughter of the Catholic Church, and the baldachin of St. Peter’s rises at the front of the float.
12. Birth of Venus: This opera derives inspiration from the famous painting of Botticelli depicting the birth of the goddess.
13. Phaeton: The fateful ride of Phaeton in the chariot of the sun appears in fiery splendor as the young driver has lost control of its horses.
14. Siciliennes: The fabled island of Sicily, ruled for many centuries by various powers, is presented with a golden triumphal arch.
15. Grotto of Versailles: The great palace was surrounded by spectacular gardens and fountains. Here we see fantastic dolphins in a watery cascade.
16. Psyche: The immortal love story of Cupid and Psyche features the lovely young princess holding the ornamented box which holds the beauty of Venus.
17. Persée: The Greek hero Perseus is the subject of this opera, and his greatest adventure was the slaying of Medusa. The head of the gorgon rises on the front of the float.
18. Cadmus et Hermione: The enormous dragon slain by Cadmus is depicted. Each of the dragon’s teeth were sown and transformed into soldiers.
19. Alceste: Alceste has offered her life as a sacrifice to Apollo and her distraught husband Admeto is about to join her in death. The gods take pity and return her to life.
20. Le Carnaval: The great French and Italian Carnivals of the 17th and early 18th centuries are celebrated with a huge figure of Sir Carnival amid masks and flowers.
21. Circe: The great sorceress was the mother of Comus and the front of the float features a large figure of a man transformed with the head of a beast.
22. Ballet of the Argonauts: The great sailing adventure of Jason and the Argonauts leads them to the possession of the Golden Fleece.
23. Ballet of Night: The sweet mystery of the night presents a magnificent bejeweled clock at midnight, amid a full moon and beautiful sky.
24. Triumph of Bacchus: A spectacular head of the God of Wine fills the front of the float, with clusters of grapes, vines, and flowers curling along the sides.
25. Halcyone: One of the most heartbreaking love stories depicts the grief-stricken Halcyone being transformed into a kingfisher to join her husband drowned at sea.
26. Pomona: Pomona was the goddess of fruit trees and orchards. Her bounty is richly heaped upon a platter born aloft by a chubby little putto.
27. Enchanted Isle: This was the first grand party given at Versailles and the baroque splendors of the magical island are stunningly recreated here.
28. Psalms of David: The psalms of the great Hebrew king were most often performed on Friday matins. A large star of David rises before his splendid palace.
29. Temple of Peace: This music was written to celebrate the 1685 agreement of France, Spain and the Holy Roman Empire. A symbolic dove appears before the columns of the temple.
30. Royal Ballet of Flowers: The royal coat of arms reminds us that the king himself often performed in the Lully ballets. A profusion of flowers adorn the float.
31. Such Stuff as Dreams Are Made On: One of Shakespeare’s most oft quoted lines, this float closes the pageant with the timeless scene of a dreamlike angel and host of flowers and stars.