Barockissimo ! Les Arts Florissants on stage

From 9th April to 18th September 2016

In 2016, the National Centre for Stage Costumes in Moulins celebrates its 10th anniversary and will begin this year of celebrations with baroque music and an exhibition of the most beautiful costumes from the shows of the Arts Florissants company.

L'exposition en images

Les Arts Florissants, founded in 1979 by the French-American conductor William Christie, had a key role in the rediscovery of the baroque repertoire. The enthusiasm provoked by the now renowned production of Atys by Lully, at the Opéra-Comique in 1987, has lead Arts Florissants to work over the last three decades with the greatest producers Jean-Marie Villégier, Alfredo Arias, Pierre Barrat, Luc Bondy, Robert Carsen, Clément Hervieu-Léger, Andreas Homoki, Adrian Noble, Pier Luigi Pizzi... and choreographers Francine Lancelot, Trisha Brown, Jiří Kylián, Bianca Li, José Montalvo, Robin Orlyn.

The exhibition evokes the incredible inventiveness of Arts Florissants, that of a «baroque ever more baroque» with almost one hundred and fifty stage costumes coming from different productions. It also performs with mock-up reproductions of scenery and costumes, photographs, film extracts, all in music! We can admire as much the art and originality of the costume designers as the audacity and spirit of adventure of Arts Florissants, including the keg of Louis XIV to the feathers of the Incas or haute couture cross-dressing!

Numerous shows evoked during this exhibition have been performed on the greatest French stages, the National Opera of Paris, the Opéra-Comique, the Theatre of the Champs-Elysées, the Theatre of Châtelet, the Theatre of Caen, the Aix-en- Provence International Festival, in prestigious festivals and also in Vienna, Madrid and New York. They demonstrate the productive partnership between these renowned venues and Les Arts Florissants, and the care taken in the design and performance of these shows, in a spirit of permanent creation, associating all of the professions contributing to performing arts. The visual mark left by each show, its scenery, its costumes, sometimes enriched with the use of film, confirms the richness of the points of view that can be discovered in the exhibition.

Les Arts Florissants

A group of singers and instrumentalists specialized in the faithful interpretation of baroque music, on period musical instruments, Les Arts Florissants, are, in their specialty, one of the world’s most renowned ensembles. William Christie, the musical director and founder, has entrusted the British tenor, Paul Agnew with the mission of assistant musical director and associated conductor. Since 2015, Les Arts Florissants have become artists in residence at the Paris Philharmonic Society.

Since Atys by Lully at the Opéra-Comique in 1987, recreated triumphantly in May 2011, the lyric stage has provided them with numerous successes with Rameau (The Amorous Indies,  Hippolytus and Aricia), Lully and Charpentier (Medee, David and Jonathan) as well as Handel (Orlando, Alcina, Hercules), Purcell (King Arthur, Dido and Aeneas, The Fairy Queen), Mozart (Die Zauberflöte, Die Entführung aus dem Serail), or with the lyrical triology by Monteverdi, and more rarely performed composers, Landi (Il Sant’Alessio), Cesti (Il Tito), Campra (Venetian Festivities) or Herold (Zampa).

 

Commissariat de l’exposition et direction artistique

William Christie

William Christie, harpsichordist, conductor, musicologist, and teacher, is the inspiration behind one of the most exciting musical adventures of the last 30 years. A pioneer in the rediscovery of Baroque music, he has introduced the repertoire of 17th- and 18th-century France to a very wide...

William Christie, harpsichordist, conductor, musicologist, and teacher, is the inspiration behind one of the most exciting musical adventures of the last 30 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. The turning point in his career came in 1979, when he founded Les Arts Florissants.

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Martine Kahane

Martine Kahane was director of The National Center for Stage Costumes from 2006 to 2011. She has endeavored for thirty-five years to help create the memoirs of the National Opera of Paris. First she managed the Library-Museum of the Opera (attached to the National Library of France), before...

Martine Kahane was director of The National Center for Stage Costumes from 2006 to 2011. She has endeavored for thirty-five years to help create the memoirs of the National Opera of Paris. First she managed the Library-Museum of the Opera (attached to the National Library of France), before creating and managing the Cultural department at the request of Hugues Gall, then director of the National Opera of Paris. The Palais Garnier is her preferred choice, the 19th century her favorite period, The little fourteen-year-old dancer by Degas her favorite work of art, resulting in twenty exhibitions and just as many publications on the architecture of Charles Garnier, the costume workshops and ballet company of the Opera, the Russian Ballets by Diaghilev… Today, she is President of Les Arts Florissants.

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Catherine Massip

Catherine Massip. Archiviste-paléographe, docteur ès lettres et sciences humaines, conservateur général, has been the Head of Music Department at the Bibliothèque nationale de France (1988-2010). She has been teaching musicology at the École pratique des Hautes Études (IVe section)...

Catherine Massip. Archiviste-paléographe, docteur ès lettres et sciences humaines, conservateur général, has been the Head of Music Department at the Bibliothèque nationale de France (1988-2010). She has been teaching musicology at the École pratique des Hautes Études (IVe section) (2004-2014). Her publications include several books on French Music from XVIIth and XVIIIth century (La vie des musiciens de Paris au temps de Mazarin, 1976 ; L’art de bien chanter : Michel Lambert (1610-1696), 1999 ; Michel-Richard Delalande, 2006) and about musical sources (Le livre de musique, 2008). She has been editing or participating to collective books or exhibitions’ catalogues. Being associate researcher at the IReMus (Institut de recherche sur la musique en France), she does participe to different programs (writings on music, music publishing, history of collecting music). Having been associate to the history of Les Arts Florissants since the very beginning, she has chaired the association during fifteen years. With Gérard Khoury, she has prepared a book as homage : William Christie et Les Arts Florissants, 30 années en images (2011).

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Alain Batifoulier

After studying at the School of Fine Arts in Lyon, he devoted himself to scenography, the creation of stage costumes, design and graphics for exhibitions. He has worked in theatre with directors like Daniel Mesguich, Marcel Maréchal, Pierre Debauche, Jean-Louis Martin-Barbaz, Pierre Pradinas,...

After studying at the School of Fine Arts in Lyon, he devoted himself to scenography, the creation of stage costumes, design and graphics for exhibitions. He has worked in theatre with directors like Daniel Mesguich, Marcel Maréchal, Pierre Debauche, Jean-Louis Martin-Barbaz, Pierre Pradinas, Philippe Faure on more than one hundred and fifty productions illustrating the greatest classics: Euripide, Shakespeare, Molière, Racine… and contemporary works: Valère Novarina, Charles Juliet, Jacques Audiberti… He works in the creation of contemporary musical works: Marius Constant, Luciano Berio, for the lyric at the Opera of Paris with Carmen, at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels for the La Passion de Gilles de Rais by Philippe Boesmans (creation) and la Scala in Milan for Il Giardino Religioso by Bruno Maderna. He has also organized exhibition areas at the National Library of France for more than eleven projects including Ionesco (2009), the Museum of the Art and History of Judaism with The Splendor of camondo (2009), the Galliera Museum Under the Empire of the Crinolines (2008), the CNCS for The Unusual (2011) and Behind the scenes (2012).

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Simon de Tovar

Graduated from the ATEP (school of visual communication and graphic design), he opened a set workshop in Paris and divides his time between the design of furniture and lighting, event scenography and has been associated with Alain Batifoulier as a sceneographer and graphic designer for more than...

Graduated from the ATEP (school of visual communication and graphic design), he opened a set workshop in Paris and divides his time between the design of furniture and lighting, event scenography and has been associated with Alain Batifoulier as a sceneographer and graphic designer for more than 10 years for exhibitions at the National Library of France, the Carnavalet Museum, the Museum of the Art and History of Judaism, the Galliera Museum, the House of Victor Hugo, the CNCS, as well as the Louis Vuitton Cultural Area in Paris.

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