Henry Desmarest (1661-1741)
Louise-Geneviève Gillot de Saintonge (1650–1718)
Hervé Niquet and Le Concert Spirituel return to their roots for their Résidences Croisées joint residency project with the CMBV at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. A staunch promoter of late 17th century repertoire, Hervé Niquet has chosen to perform and record Demarest’s Didon.
A strong proponent of rare and forgotten French repertoire, he has devoted efforts to reviving the latest version of Lully’s operas discovered by the CMBV, namely Persée (1770) and Armide (1778). However, for the purpose of this joint residency with the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and the CMBV, he has chosen to focus on the late 17th century repertoire. In this first part of a much anticipated trilogy featuring Desmarest, Marais and Campra is Didon, Henry Desmarest’s masterpiece which was first performed in 1693 and successfully restaged in 1704. Resuscitated in 1999 on the occasion of the CMBV’s Grandes Journées Desmarest but never published, this tragédie lyrique rightly deserves recognition for the quality of its music and its dramatic intensity. Véronique Gens in the title role heads a prestigious cast which includes Reinoud Van Mechelen, Thomas Dolié, Marie Perbost and Judith Van Wanroij.