Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687)
Jean-Baptiste Poquelin alias Molière (1622-1673)
A performance of Molière and Lully’s Les Amants magnifiques by Vincent Tavernier, Hervé Niquet and Marie-Geneviève Massé, in collaboration with the Centre de musique baroque de Versailles. Now touring France in the wake of critical and public acclaim.
First performed the same year as the famous Bourgeois gentilhomme, Molière and Lully’s Les Amants magnifiques was one of their many successful collaborations. The comédie-ballet was performed before the Court at the 1670 carnival as part of the divertissement royal festivities. It was the last time Louis XIV was to dance on stage and marked the end of an era (but the start of a new one). Three years later Lully produced the first French opera. Beyond the sentimental but spirited romanesque plot (two princes battle over a young princess who is in love with a mere commoner, but whose courage and virtue win the day), Molière pokes fun at various contemporary foibles, notably astrology. Lully, on his side, offers a ‘play within a play’, a short song and dance pastorale heralding the advent of opera. Rarely performed, Les Amants magnifiques is now back on stage and touring France, its outstanding cast headed by Vincent Tavernier and Le Concert Spirituel ensemble with Hervé Niquet and Marie-Geneviève Massé.