Ballet-bouffon in one prologue and three acts (1745)
Music by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Libretto by Jacques Autreau
William Christie’s pioneering work as harpsichordist, conductor, musicologist and teacher has led to a renewed interest in Baroque music in France. He studied at Harvard and Yale Universities before moving to France in 1971, where he founded Les Arts Florissants eight years later. With the ensemble he explored many neglected or forgotten works, both sacred and secular. As well as championing the French Baroque, ranging from Charpentier to Rameau, via Couperin, Mondonville, Campra and Montéclair, he is acclaimed in Monteverdi, Purcell, Handel, Mozart and Haydn. In the opera house, he has worked with many renowned directors, including Jean-Marie Villégier, Robert Carsen, Alfredo Arias, Jorge Lavelli, Graham Vick, Adrian Noble, Andrei Serban and Luc Bondy. Last year Les Arts Florissants began a collaboration with the Teatro Real de Madrid, where the ensemble will perform all the Monteverdi operas over coming seasons. As a guest conductor William Christie regularly appears at Glyndebourne and with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as conducting Zurich Opera in works by Gluck, Rameau and Handel, and the Opéra National de Lyon in Così fan tutte and The Marriage of Figaro. He is also committed to the professional development of young artists, and many of the music directors of today’s Baroque ensembles began their careers with Les Arts Florissants. In 2002 he created Le Jardin des Voix, an academy for young singers in Caen, whose first three seasons generated considerable international interest. William Christie has over 70 recordings to his name, as conductor and harpsichordist, many of which have received awards. William Christie acquired French nationality in 1995. He is an Officier dans l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur as well as Officier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.