Beginning at age 7, Louis XIV began studying dance with the best dancing masters in all of France, and soon became high-skilled in the art. In 1653, the Crown triumphantly defeats the Fronde movement and the following year Louis is crowned King of France and Navarre in Reims. Dating from the same time period, this celebratory ballet royal tells the story of Day triumphing over Night (Light over Darkness, Good over Evil), and appropriately places the Sun King—at the time aged 15—in a starring role, personifying a series of character-metaphors: an “Heure”, a “Curieux”, an “Ardent”, a “Furieux” and finally the Dawn himself, who frightens away the stars. The divertissement’s 45 entrées—brilliantly set off by Torelli’s sets and new-fangled stage machines—were performed in the hall of the Petit-Bourbon palace by some of the greatest dancers of the age for an audience that included the Queen, the court, and her faithful councilor Mazarin.
Sébastien Daucé, founder and director of the Ensemble Correspondances, and the choreographer Francesca Lattuada are joined by musicians, singers, and acrobats to bring that astonishing evening back to life in a spectacle that functions as a symbol for both Louis XIV’s passion for the arts and for the birth of French opera. Experience the production was celebrated by audiences and critics alike at its 2017 premiere!
Photo: Lucile Richardot et Violaine Le Chenadec dans Le Ballet royal de la Nuit © Philippe Delval
A Concert for Mazarin. With La Fenice, conducted by Jean Tubéry
La Capella Reial de Catalunya – Hespèrion XXI