Les Arts Florissants Performs In Summer Festivals North America & Exquisite Gardens In France

Conducted by William Christie, the ensemble performs its acclaimed production of Purcell's The Fairy Queen.

By: May. 20, 2024
Les Arts Florissants Performs In Summer Festivals North America & Exquisite Gardens In France
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The renowned ensemble Les Arts Florissants returns to the United States this summer to perform its acclaimed semi-staged and touring production of Purcell's masterpiece The Fairy Queen at Tanglewood on July 18, and Caramoor on July 20.

The American dates will be preceded by Canadian performances at the Toronto Summer Music Festival in Ontario and the Festival de Lanaudière in Joliette, Québec. Dans les Jardins de William Christie, Les Arts Florissants' own summer festival, will take place in Thiré, France from August 24-31.

The Fairy Queen

Choreographed and stage directed by French-Algerian choreographer Mourad Merzouki and conducted by William Christie, The Fairy Queen features the voices of Le Jardin des Voix, Les Arts Florissants' academy for young singers, and dancers from Merzouki's Lyon-based Compagnie Käfig and The Juilliard School in New York. It was performed at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall on Nov. 2, 2023, led by Paul Agnew, and has been touring in Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and additional European dates include Milan's La Scala on June 30 and London's BBC Proms on August 6, 2024. Combining Baroque music with choreographies inspired by hip-hop, street, and classical dances, this Fairy Queen offers a unique, visually spectacular, and emotionally powerful staging.

Inspired by A Midsummer Night's Dream, the semi-opera draws from Shakespeare's comedy the material for a magical and funny fantasy, which, more than 300 years after its 1692 creation, never ceases to amaze. It contains some of Purcell's most beautiful arias. Click here for excerpts of Les Arts Florissants' The Fairy Queen.

PURCELL: THE FAIRY QUEEN

Thursday, July 11, 2024, at 7:30pm

Toronto Summer Music Festival, Koerner Hall in Toronto, ON, Canada

Saturday, July 13, 2024, at 7:00pm

Festival de Lanaudière, Amphithéâtre Fernand-Lindsay in Joliette, QC, Canada

*A second and different program is also performed by Les Arts Florissants on July 15; click here for details.

Thursday, July 18, 2024, at 8:00pm

Tanglewood, Seiji Ozawa Hall, in Lenox/Stockbridge, MA, USA

Saturday, July 20, 2024, at 7:30pm

Caramoor, Venetian Theater, in Katonah, NY, USA

Les Arts Florissants, orchestra

William Christie, conductor

Mourad Merzouki, Stage director and choreographer

Le Jardin des Voix, singers

Paulina Francisco, soprano

Georgia Burashko, Rebecca Leggett, Juliette Mey, mezzo-sopranos

Ilja Aksionov, Rodrigo Carreto, tenors

Hugo Herman-Wilson, baritone

Benjamin Schilperoort, bass-baritone

Compagnie Käfig and The Juilliard School, dancers

Baptiste Coppin, Samuel Florimond, Anahi Passi, Alary Ravin, Timothée Zig; and Ian Debono (student from The Juilliard School)

Vendée Liberty's Governors Island celebrations

William Christie and musicians from The Juilliard School will take part in the May 24 event Vendée Liberty, the private celebrations organized on New York City's Governors Island in advance of the exciting New York Vendée and Vendée Globe sailing races. Click here to learn more about the connection between the Vendée and William Christie and Les Arts Florissants.

Dans les Jardins de William Christie

The 2024 season of Dans les Jardins de William Christie, Les Arts Florissants' summer festival, will take place from August 24-31 in the village of Thiré, located in France's Western Vendée, in the Pays de la Loire region. Highlights include Purcell's opera Dido and Aeneas conducted by William Christie (August 24-25) and Paul Agnew conducting Gluck's opera Orphée et Euridice (August 30-31), both performed on the reflective pool; short Baroque performances taking place in the gardens during the afternoons; and candlelit concerts at night in the village church. Tickets and details will be available in early June at www.evenements.vendee.fr.

William Christie acquired and began restoring the late 17th–century house and land in 1985 and created outstanding gardens on the grounds. It has been hailed by critics and garden design experts and, in 2006, was listed on the French supplementary inventory of historic monuments. Les Arts Florissants now has its permanent home in Thiré and is completing the ambitious creation of the Quartier des Artistes, its international cultural and artistic center serving artists and the general public throughout the year. It was designated by the French Ministry of Culture as Centre Culturel de Rencontre (Cultural Center), a title awarded to projects that demonstrate excellence in artistic creation, preservation of French heritage, and public outreach.

About William Christie – Co-musical Director, Founder, Les Arts Florissants

William Christie, harpsichordist, conductor, musicologist, and teacher, is the inspiration behind one of the most exciting musical adventures of the last 40 years. A pioneer in the rediscovery of Baroque music, he has introduced the repertoire of 17th- and 18th-century France to a very wide audience across the globe. Born in Buffalo, and educated at Harvard and Yale, William Christie has lived in France since 1971. He founded the vocal and instrumental ensemble Les Arts Florissants in 1979 and made his mark as a musician and man of the theatre. Major public recognition came in 1987 with the production of Lully's Atys at the Opéra Comique in Paris. 

From Charpentier to Rameau, through Couperin and Mondonville, William Christie is the uncontested master of tragédie-lyrique as well as opéra-ballet, and is just as comfortable with the French motet as with music of the court. But his affection for French music does not preclude him from exploring the music of Monteverdi, Rossi, Scarlatti, Landi, Purcell, Handel, Mozart, Haydn or Bach. His most recent operatic work includes Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea at the Salzburg Festival, Rameau's Platée at Theater an der Wien, Mondonville's Titon et l'Aurore at the Opéra Comique, Handel's Partenope which toured internationally and Purcell's Dido and Aeneas at the Teatros del Canal in Madrid, Opéra Royal de Versailles and Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona. As a guest conductor, William Christie often appears alongside the Berliner Philharmoniker or the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at opera festivals such as Glyndebourne, and opera houses including The Metropolitan Opera in New York.

His extensive discography includes more than 100 recordings, with the most recent ones on the Harmonia Mundi label. Wishing to further develop his work as a teacher, William Christie created in 2002 Le Jardin des Voix, Les Arts Florissants' academy for young singers. Since 2007 he has been artist in residence at the Juilliard School in New York, where he gives masterclasses. In 2012, he created Dans les Jardins de William Christie, the summer festival welcoming young musicians from The Juilliard School, singers of the Jardin des Voix, and artists of Les Arts Florissants. In 2021, he launched with Les Arts Florissants the first “Arts Flo Masterclasses” for young professional musicians at the Quartier des Artistes in Thiré, Vendée. William Christie has bequeathed his real-estate assets to the Foundation Les Arts Florissants–William Christie created in 2018. He was elected to France's Académie des Beaux-Arts in 2008 and he was the recipient of the PdSK (German Record Critics' Award) Honorary Award in 2022.

About Les Arts Florissants

An ensemble of singers and instrumentalists specialized in the performance on period instruments, Les Arts Florissants has played a pioneering role in the revival of Baroque repertoire. Founded in 1979 by William Christie, it gives around one hundred concerts and opera performances each season, in France and internationally, and has produced an extensive discography–especially in its own collection with the “harmonia mundi” record label. British tenor and conductor Paul Agnew became its co-musical director in 2020. The Ensemble has been in residence at the Philharmonie de Paris since 2015. It has launched several education programs for young musicians, among which Le Jardin des Voix academy, the Arts Flo Juniors program and a collaboration with The Juilliard School. In the village of Thiré (Vendée, Pays de la Loire), Les Arts Florissants created in 2012 the Festival Dans les Jardins de William Christie, followed by a Spring Festival in 2017 and was labelled “Centre Culturel de Rencontre” in 2017 for its project of an international artistic campus. 2018 has seen the creation of the Fondation Les Arts Florissants–William Christie.

Highlights of the 2023-24 season include new opera productions of Charpentier's Médée at the Opéra national de Paris, Purcell's The Fairy Queen and Handel's Ariodante; and performances of Bach's St John Passion, Campra's Requiem, Haydn's Seven Last words of Christ and Italian Arias with countertenors Hugh Cutting and Carlo Vistoli. The 2024-2025 season marks William Christie's 80th birthday with an anniversary tour and a series of exceptional events including Rameau's Les Fêtes d'Hébé, directed by Robert Carsen, at the Opéra Comique in Paris.



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