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Armide

Jean-Baptiste Lully

The masterpiece of Lully and Quinault in the unpublished version of Francoeur under the expert baton of Hervé Niquet

Hervé Niquet © Eric Manas
Véronique Gens © Sandrine Expilly
Book

Cast

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

Hervé Niquet direction
Concert SpirituelOrchestra and Choir

Approximate running time
1st part: 1h - Intermission: 20mn - 2nd part: 1h30

Sung in French with French and English subtitles
Revision from Louis-Joseph Francœur (recreation of 1778 unpublished version)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.

Coproduction Théâtre des Champs-Elysées / Le Concert Spirituel / Le Centre de musique baroque de Versailles

Video

Armide Hervé Niquet

Armide par Hervé Niquet

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