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Arcadia. The green upland pastures. A chorus of nymphs and swains proclaims the ‘pleasure of the plains’ while the sea-nymph Galatea dwells on her love for the mortal shepherd Acis. Meanwhile, Acis seeks out Galatea but instead meets Damon, fellow shepherd and confidant. Damon gently teases Acis for his hopeless love and reminds him of his pastoral duties. It is not long, however, before the two lovers convene and express their pure joy, echoed by the chorus’ closing number. Act two opens with a foreshadowing of what is to come - namely the havoc about to be caused by the monster, Polyphemus. His fumbling attempts at wooing Galatea contrast with his flights of rage. Acis is quick to intervene, Damon quick to advise. The latter is successful, and in a stormy and intricate trio aria, Acis and Galatea make a strident pledge of their mutual love while Polyphemus seethes with jealous rage. Unable to control himself, he murders Acis. Galatea, however, invokes her powers and turns his body into a stream.