Act 1 - A Sacred Wood. Woodland creatures dance in the moonlight before the shrine of Eros, the God of Love. They are interrupted by the arrival of the shepherd Aminta, who is in love with Sylvia. Hearing Sylvia and her attendants approaching, Aminta hides and watches them dance as they celebrate the success of their hunt. As one of Diana's nymphs, Sylvia has promised to renounce love and taunts the statue of Eros. Meanwhile, Orion, the evil hunter, has also been secretly watching Sylvia and, inflamed by her beauty, is determined to possess her.
Aminta's cloak is discovered and the shepherd is dragged from his hiding place. He declares his love for Sylvia, but she is outraged and, blaming the mischievous Eros, draws her bow at the god. Aminta, shielding the statue, is pierced to the heart by Sylvia's arrow.
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