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Barockissimo ! Les Arts Florissants en scène
(Barockissimo! Les Arts Florissants on stage)

Start Date 09 April 2016
End Date 18 September 2016
Venue Centre National du Costume de Scene
Location Moulins, France
Exhibition display of dressed mannequins
Exhibition display of dressed mannequins

Les Arts Florissants , founded in 1979 by the Franco-American conductor William Christie , is a major player in the rediscovery of the baroque repertoire . The enthusiasm aroused by the now historic production of Atys de Lully , at the Opéra-Comique in 1987, has led Les Arts Florissants to work for three decades with the greatest directors 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, Blanca Li, José Montalvo, Robin Orlyn.

The exhibition evokes the incredible inventiveness of Les Arts Florissants, that of an “ever more baroque baroque” with nearly 150 stage costumes from different productions. It also stages reproductions of models of sets and costumes, photographs, film clips, all in music! We will admire the art and originality of the costume designers as much as the audacity and the spirit of adventure of the Arts Florissants,  going from the Louis XIV barrel to the feathers of the Incas or the haute couture transvestite!
The many shows mentioned in this exhibition have been performed on the biggest French stages, the Opéra national de Paris, the Opéra-Comique, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, the Théâtre du Châtelet, the Théâtre de Caen, the International Festival in Aix-en-Provence, in prestigious festivals and also in Vienna, Madrid or New York. They attest to the fruitful partnership between these great houses and Les Arts Florissants, and the care they took in the design and production of productions, in a spirit of permanent creation, by associating all professions contributing to the performing arts. The visual mark left by each production, its sets, its costumes, sometimes enriched by the contribution of video, confirms this wealth of points of view that we will discover in the exhibition.

Les Arts Florissants
A group of singers and instrumentalists devoted to baroque music , faithful to interpretation on ancient instruments, Les Arts Florissants are, in their specialty, one of the most renowned groups in the world. William Christie is the founding musical director and has entrusted the British tenor Paul Agnew with the mission of assistant musical director and associate conductor. Since 2015, Les Arts Florissants have been hosted in residence at the Philharmonie de Paris.

Since Atys de Lully at the Opéra-Comique in 1987, triumphantly recreated in May 2011, the lyric scene has ensured them many successes with Rameau ( Les Indes galantes, Hippolyte et Aricie ), Lully and Charpentier (Médée, David et Jonathas ) with Handel ( Orlando, Alcina, Hercules ), Purcell ( King Arthur, Dido and Aeneas, The Fairy Queen ), Mozart ( Die Zauberflöte, Die Entführung aus dem Serail ), or with the lyric trilogy by Monteverdi, as also with more rarely interpreted composers, Landi ( Il Sant’Alessio ), Cesti ( Il Tito ), Campra ( The Venetian Festivities ) or Hérold ( Zampa ).

Images courtesy of Centre National du Costume de Scene