PrologueVénus visits Eole (Aeolus) in his cavern to ask him to release the winds so she can punish the Greek hero Idoménée (Idomeneus), on his way back from the siege of Troy to his home in Crete.
Act One: In Crete, Ilione, daughter of King Priam of Troy reveals she has rejected the advances of Idoménée, but is secretly in love with his son Idamante. He returns her love, spurning Electre, who jealously plots revenge. News arrives that Idoménée has been lost in a storm at sea.
Act Two: Idoménee has been shipwrecked but, thanks to the god Neptune, he has survived. He reveals he owes his life to the promise he made to Neptune to sacrifice the first person he should meet on the Cretan shore. To his horror, that person is his own son Idamante.
Act Three: Idoménée has learnt of the love between Ilione and Idamante and is torn between a desire to save his son and jealousy. He orders Idamante to take Electre back to her homeland but as the ship is ready to depart a huge sea monster blocks its way. Neptune is determined to keep Idoménée to his vow.
Act Four: Ilione tells Idamante of Idoménée's love for her. At the temple of Neptune, Idoménée implores the god to release him from his promise. Idamante fights and kills the sea monster.
Act Five: Idoménée announces that he will leave the throne and Ilione to Idamante. But the gods' anger is not yet appeased. They send Idoménée insane and in his fury he mistakenly kills his own son.
Original libretto: Idomenée, Tragedie représentée pour la premiere fois par l'Academie Royale de Musique, Le Mardy douziéme jour de Janvier 1712, Paris, Ballard, 1712 (accessible for free online in gallica, Bibliothèque Nationale de France)