André-Ernest-Modeste Grétry (1741-1813)
Michel-Jean Sedaine (1719-1797)
The Centre de musique baroque de Versailles has joined forces with Château Versailles Spectacles and Le Concert Spirituel to stage a new production of Grétry’s masterpiece Richard Cœur de Lion. Grétry was a noted composer at Versailles under Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette.
Names such as Lully, Lalande, Rameau and Mondonville are associated with Versailles during the time of Louis XIV and Louis XV, while Grétry was undoubtedly the most influential composer under Louis XVI, not only because of his close relationship with Marie-Antoinette but also because of the outstanding works performed at Versailles, from Zémire et Azor through to Richard Cœur de Lion. The latter, considered a masterpiece, made him a fortune throughout the 19th century with its gothic, pre-Romantic feel. It is a little known fact that Ô Richard, ô mon roi was sung by the French Guards at a formal dinner on stage at the Royal Opera in October 1789, creating a scandal which triggered the fall of the Monarchy. Exactly 230 years later the same work will be performed, albeit in a more serene atmosphere, with pioneer conductor Hervé Niquet and a period stage set created for the CMBV by Antoine Fontaine.
15 MINUTE TALK
THU 10 OCTOBER 2019 at 7.30 pm
Foyer de l’Opéra Royal, Palace of Versailles, Versailles, France
Laurent Brunner, executive director, Château de Versailles Spectacles