King Céphée expresses the terror his people feel for the snake-haired Mèduse: anyone who looks on her turns to stone. The goddess Juno has sent Mèduse to punish Queen Cassiope for her insolence in comparing her own beauty to that of the goddess. In an effort to appease Juno's wrath, Cassiope has prepared a celebration of games in her honour. We learn that Mérope, the queen's sister, secretly loves Persée. However, Persée loves and is loved by Andromède, the king's daughter. Andromède is betrothed to Phinée, her uncle, who, in an agony of jealousy, accuses her of not returning his love, suspecting that she loves another. Andromède assures him that she will fulfil her duty to love him. As the act ends, we learn that Juno has rejected the sacrifices made in her honour. Messengers arrive with the terrible news that Mèduse has taken more victims.

Original Name Persée
Librettist Philippe Quinault
Date of composition 1682
Premiered 1682, April 18th (Théâtre du Palais-Royal) in Paris, France
First published 1682
Type Tragédie en musique (Musical Tragedy)
Catalogue LWV 60
Instruments Chorus/Choir - Followers of Virtue and Fortune, followers of Cassiope, young persons chosen for the games, spectators, warrior nymphs, infernal deities, phantoms, Ethiopians, Tritons and Nereides, victorious heroes
Voice (Haute-contre) - Persée son of Jupiter and Danaë
Voice (Soprano) - Andromède daughter of Céphée
Voice (Bass) - Phinée, brother of Céphée
Voice (Soprano) - Mérope, sister of Cassiope
Voice (Baritone) - Taille ; Phronime, attendant of Virtue
Voice (Haute-contre) - Mégathyme, attendant of Virtue
Voice (Soprano) - Virtue
Voice (Soprano) - Fortune
Voice (Bass) - Céphée, King of Ethiopia
Voice (Soprano) - Cassiope, Queen of Ethiopia
Voice (Haute-contre) - Amphimédon, an Ethiopian
Voice (Baritone) - Corite, an Ethiopian
Voice (Baritone) - Proténor, an Ethiopian
Voice (Baritone) - A Cyclope
Voice (Soprano) - A warrior Nymph
Voice (Bass) - An infernal deity
Voice (Haute-contre) - Mercure
Voice (Baritone) - Taille ; Méduse, a Gorgon
Voice (Haute-contre) - Euryale, a Gorgon
Voice (Bass) - Sténone, a Gorgon
Voice (Bass) - Idas, a courtier of Céphée's
Voice (Baritone) - Taille ; High priest of Hymenée (wedding priest)
Voice (Soprano) - Vénus
Voice (Soprano) - L'Amour (Cupid)
Voice (Soprano) - Hymenée (Marriage)
Voice (Bass) - A Triton
Voice (Haute-contre) - Ethiopian
Voice (Baritone) - Taille ; Ethiopian
Autotranslations beta Jean-Baptiste Lully: Perseus, LWV 60
Jean-Baptiste Lully: Perseus, LWV 60
Jean-Baptiste Lully: Perseus, LWV 60