With the Prague summer festival of Early Music and the Collegium Marianum orchestra, the CMBV has created an exemplary Franco-Czech partnership, encompassing research, publications, historically informed performance, teaching and musical co-productions.
Under the auspices of Jana Franková and Barbara Nestola, a research project on the exchange between France and Bohemia of musicians and sheet music in the 17th and 18th centuries opened up new avenues of research and led to new repertoire discoveries.
Since 2017, Prague has held an Akademie Versailles every spring, housed alternately in the city’s Conservatoire and Music Academy. Teachers explore a set topic with around thirty students from around the world, although mainly from Central Europe. The 2017 theme was the French orchestra Les Vingt-quatre Violons du Roi conducted by Patrick Cohën-Akenine; 2018’s theme was song, gesture and harpsichord accompaniment (with Deda Cristina Colonna, Chantal Santon-Jeffery, Benoît Dratwicki & Jory Vinikour); and in 2019 chamber music (with Bruno Cocset, Béatrice Martin, Stéphanie Pfister, Jana Semeradova, etc.).
The Prague summer festival has provided prestigious programmes: operas (e.g. Campra’s Le Carnaval de Venise and L’Europe galante), Lalande’s grands motets or French chamber music (Italian airs and cantatas by Les Folies Françoises and a harpsichord recital by Béatrice Martin).
Some co-productions have gone on world tours, e.g. a stage version of L’Europe galante in Potsdam, Germany, and performances of Lalande’s grands motets in Versailles and Saint-Riquier. In association with the CMBV choir school Les Pages & les Chantres, the Collegium Marianum orchestra has produced recordings for the Glossa label.
The French Institute has been an active partner since collaboration started in 2016.