St Petersburg, Concert Hall

Baroque ensemble Les Arts Florissants

The programme includes:
Marc-Antoine Charpentier. Actéon (pastorale en musique in one act)
Henry Purcell. Dido and Aeneas (opera in three acts)

Director: Vincent Boussard
Set Designer: Sibille Polster
Costumes: Stéphanie Zani
Lighting: Gloria Montesinos

Les Arts Florissants is one of the most highly acclaimed baroque ensembles, not just in Europe but across the globe. Today, the company comprises a chorus, orchestra and soloists. It was founded in 1979 by the Franco-American harpsichordist and conductor William Christie, and it takes its name from Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s opera Les Arts florissants, written three centuries earlier. Since the ensemble’s creation, William Christie has revived 17th and 18th century French, Italian and English music with a purely baroque sense of productivity, discovering new names and transforming expert research in authentic performing into highly interesting artistic events.

Under the direction of William Christie, the ensemble has worked with outstanding artists, choreographers and directors including Jean-Marie Villégier, Robert Carsen, Alfredo Arias, Pier Luigi Pizzi, Andrei Şerban and Peter Sellars. This collaboration has resulted in theatre productions of operas, ballets and chamber works by Rameau, Lully, Couperin, Monteverdi, Landi, Caldara and Desmarest to name but a few. William Christie’s favourite composer is Marc-Antoine Charpentier, whose operas, pastorales and chamber works he has brought into the musical mainstream. The ensemble’s home is the Théâtre de Caen in France. It frequently tours in France and often represents the nation abroad, performing at the Brooklyn Academy, the Lincoln Center in New York, the Barbican Centre in London and the Vienna Festival.


In Moscow and St Petersburg William Christie and Les Arts Florissants will be performing two operas staged by Vincent Boussard. Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s opera Actéon, written in 1685 and based on an ancient myth of the goddess Diana and Actaeon, Prince of Thebes, was to prove one of the most beautiful examples of the French baroque style with its vivid dance nature and intricate elegance. The second part features Henry Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas – the first English opera, written in 1689 and based on motifs from Virgil’s Aeneid. Today, these two 17th century musical masterpieces sound convincingly contemporary and hold a key position in the repertoire of Les Arts Florissants.


Les Arts Florissants has a residency at the Théâtre de Caen.

Les Arts Florissants is subsidised by France’s Ministry of Culture, the town of Caen and the region of Basse-Normandie.

Sponsors of Les Arts Florissants:



As part of the Year of Russia and France 2010   As part of the Year of Russia and France 2010
Age category 6+

Any use or copying of site materials, design elements or layout is forbidden without the permission of the rightholder.