In anticipation of thunderstorms, tonight’s concert (8/5) has been moved into the Venetian Theater.
Founded in 1979 by William Christie, Les Arts Florissants is one of the best-known baroque-music ensembles in the world. For this special chamber performance, Christie will be joined by two young Baroque stars, French-Italian mezzo-soprano Lea Desandre and French lutenist Thomas Dunford, for a program of all-French vocal works by Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Reynaldo Hahn, Michel Lambert, Jacques Offenbach, Barbara, Michel Legrand, and others.
“Lea Desandre brought life and beauty to everything she touched.”
– The New York Times
Les recettes de l’amour (Recipes of Love)
JEAN-PHILLIPE RAMEAU: “L’Amour comme Neptune” from Hippolyte et Aricie
RAMEAU: “Je veux que sous mes lois tous les cœurs soient heureux” from Dardanus
REYNALDO HAHN: “Moi je m’appelle Ciboulette” from Ciboulette
MARC-ANTOINE CHARPENTIER: “Ah qu’ils sont courts les beaux jours”
JEAN-BAPTISTE LULLY: “Récit de la beauté” from Le Mariage forcé
JACQUES OFFENBACH: “Couplets du souper” from Belle Lurette
CHARPENTIER: “Auprès du feu”
OFFENBACH: “Ariette de la griserie” from La Périchole
FRANÇOIS COUPERIN: Les barricades mystérieuses
HONORÉ D’AMBRUYS: “Le doux silence”
ERNEST CHAUSSON “Le charme”
MAURICE RAVEL: “Toi le cœur de la rose” from L’enfant et les sortilèges
MICHEL LAMBERT: “Charmante nuit”
RAMEAU: Les tendres plaintes
CHARPENTIER: “Ruisseau qui nourrit dans ce bois”
CHARPENTIER: “Princesse c’est sur vous que mon espoir se fonde” from Médée
CHARPENTIER: “Quel prix de mon Amour” from Médée
MARIN MARAIS: Les voix humaines
OFFENBACH: “Amours divins” from La belle Hélène
CHARPENTIER: “Profitez du printemps”
LAMBERT: “Vos mépris chaque jour”
Lea Desandre, mezzo-soprano
Thomas Dunford, archilute
William Christie, harpsichord
French-Italian mezzo-soprano Lea Desandre was 20 when she joined Le Jardin des Voix, Les Arts Florissant’s biennial baroque academy for young singers, in 2015. Since then, she has performed many prominent roles, including Cherubino Le Nozze di Figaro, Urbain in Les Huguenots, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Annio in La Clemenza di Tito, and Dido in Dido and Aeneas, among many others. Her musical versatility has also led her to comedic roles at the Opéra Comique and the Salzburger Festspiele alongside Cecilia Bartoli.
Desandre has sung in concerts and recitals all over the world, from Wigmore Hall, Mozarteum Salzburg, and Musikverein Wien, to Walt Disney Concert Hall and Shanghai Symphony Hall. Committed to chamber music, she regularly performs in concert with Thomas Dunford and L’Ensemble Jupiter. She is frequently invited to sing with prestigious conductors and musicians, including William Christie, Sir John Elliot Gardiner, and Emmanuelle Haïm.
Desandre’s discography includes Barricades with Jean Rondeau (Erato/2020), Vivaldi with Ensemble Jupiter (Alpha/2019), Handel Italian Cantatas with Sabine Devieilhe and Emmanuelle Haïm/Le Concert d’Astrée (Erato/2018), Berenice che fai (Aparté) with Opera Fuoco and Cities with Thibault Cauvin (Sony/2018).
She was named Révélation Artiste Lyrique of the Victoires de la Musique Classique, Winner of the HSBC Prize in 2017, and she received the Young Soloist Award from the French-language public media in 2018.
Desandre studied in Venice with Sara Mingardo and trained for 12 years in classical dance.
The son of two accomplished gambists, Thomas Dunford discovered the lute at age nine. He made his young debut playing the role of the lutenist in Shakespeare’s Night of the Kings on the stage of the Comédie Française. Since then, he has performed recitals at Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, and other prestigious venues, and he appears regularly in festivals across Europe, including the Ambronay Festival, the La Chaise-Dieu Festival, and the Utrecht Festival.
Dunford’s extensive discography is the result of various collaborations with a wide range of musicians, singers, and ensembles. His first solo CD, Lachrimae (Alpha/2012), was critically acclaimed and received the Caecilia Prize 2013. His second CD, Labirinto d’Amore, was awarded the Choc de Classica, which is given by the French classical music magazine Classica to 15 exceptional recordings each year.
Dunford is regularly invited to play with Les Arts Florissants, Amarillis, Les Ambassadeurs, Arcangelo, La Cappella Mediterranea, The English Concert, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Pygmalion, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and La Symphonie du Marais, among many other ensembles. He frequently collaborates on chamber music projects with such renowned artists as Paul Agnew, William Christie, Bobby McFerrin, Anne-Sophie von Otter, and Trevor Pinnock, to name only a few.
In 2018, at age of 30, Dunford created L’Ensemble Jupiter, which today comprises many of the musicians with whom he has collaborated throughout his career.
Harpsichordist, conductor, musicologist, and teacher William Christie is considered a pioneer in the rediscovery of Baroque music. He founded Les Arts Florissants in 1979 and introduced the repertoire of 17th- and 18th-century France to a wide audience across the globe.
As director of this vocal and instrumental ensemble, Christie soon made his mark in the concert hall and the opera house. He received major public recognition in 1987 with the production of Lully’s Atys at the Opéra Comique in Paris. Notable among his recent operatic work are Handel’s Jephtha at the Opéra de Paris, Ariodante at the Wiener Staatsoper, and Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea at the Salzburg Festival, among many others.
From Charpentier to Rameau, through Couperin and Mondonville, Christie is the uncontested master of tragédie-lyrique as well as opéra-ballet, and he 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 other European composers such as Monteverdi, Rossi, Scarlatti, Purcell, Handel, Mozart, Haydn, or Bach.
As a guest conductor, Christie often appears alongside the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and at opera houses such as the Metropolitan Opera, the Zurich Opernhaus, and the Opéra National de Lyon.
Christie’s extensive discography includes more than 100 recordings. His most recent — Bach’s B Minor Mass; Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea (CD/DVD); N’espérez plus, mes yeux; Générations: Senaillé – Leclair — were issued by harmonia mundi in the Les Arts Florissants collection.
Born in Buffalo, NY and educated at Harvard and Yale, Christie has lived in France since 1971.
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