• Renaud et Armide | Boucher
    Renaud et Armide | Boucher
  • Véronique Gens
    Véronique Gens

Monday 1st April 2019, 7pm30
Théâtre des Champs-Elysées

Wednesday 3rd April 2019, 8pm
Arsenal de Metz

Wednesday 8 May 2019, 8pm
Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles, Bozar


Soloists
Véronique Gens, Armide
Reinoud Van Mechelen, Renaud
Tassis Christoyannis, Hidraot / la Haine 
Chantal Santon-Jeffery, Phénice / Lucinde
Katherine Watson, Sidonie / une Naïade / un Plaisir
Philippe-Nicolas Martin, Aronte / Artémidore / Ubalde
Zachary Wilder, Le Chevalier danois

Le Concert Spirituel, choir and orchestra
Hervé Niquet, conductor

Coproduction Le Concert Spirituel / Le Centre de musique baroque de Versailles

Revision from Louis-Joseph Francœur (recreation of 1778 unpublished version)

The “musical tragedy” Armide, which was performed in 1686, marks the culmination of a protracted collaboration between Lully and his librettist Philippe Quinault. After the initial performances, the poet abandoned the stage for good, rediscovered his faith and died in 1688, a year after the composer. Armide – which is his last will and testament, although it was not written as such – is the portrait of a heroine wracked by contradictions and marks the end of a period of prodigious stylistic development which laid the foundations for the uniquely French opera scene for many years to come. It would take another century and the reform brought about by Gluck before a comparable musical upheaval would come about again. Lully’s work is characterised by attention to language, elegance, precision and a nobility which command admiration.

Hervé Niquet, who presents this version revised by Louis-Joseph Francœur, the grand administrator of the Opéra in the last quarter of the 18th century, is an aficionado of declamation. This team of well-seasoned soloists includes in the title role the hugely talented Véronique Gens, who excels in the art of fine speaking. This evening promises to be a fitting celebration of the craft of Messrs Lully and Quinault.