Charpentier's David et Jonathas

Marshall Pynkoski (stage director), Gaétan Jarry (conductor) — With Reinoud Van Mechelen (David), Caroline Arnaud (Jonathas), David Witczak (Saül)...

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Marshall Pynkoski — Stage director

Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg — Choreographer

Antoine Fontaine — Scenography

Roland Fontaine — Scenography

Hervé Gary — Lighting

Christian Lacroix — Costume designer

Jean-Philippe Pons — Assistant costume designer

Reinoud Van Mechelen — David

Caroline Arnaud — Jonathas

David Witczak — Saül

François-Olivier Jean — Pythonisse

Antonin Rondepierre — Joabel

Geoffroy Buffière — Samuel's shadow

Virgile Ancely — Achis

Marduk Serrano Lopez — Figurant

Timothée Grivet — Figurant

Program notes

There is no grander backdrop than the Royal Chapel of the Palace of Versailles for the spectacular David et Jonathas by Marc-Antoine Charpentier! And no better cast than Reinoud Van Mechelen (David) and Caroline Arnaud (Jonathas), impeccable in this sublime Baroque drama with gorgeous costumes by the great Christian Lacroix and staged by the acclaimed Marshall Pynkoski.

During the years when Jean-Baptiste Lully reigned as the Sun King's royal composer, Marc-Antoine Charpentier made his name in more modest institutions like the Jesuit college Louis-le-Grand in Paris—which is where the five-act tragedy David et Jonathas premiered on February 26, 1688. Inspired by the Book of Samuel, the plot recounts the power struggle between David and King Saul, and the deep friendship between David and Saul's son Jonathas. Despite rumors that the opera's "overtly romantic arias between the two male leads" may have alluded to the relationship between Louis XIV's brother Philippe d'Orléans and his lover, the Chevalier de Lorraine, the work's powerful emotion and psychological finesse spared it from scandal and won it great renown.

An exceptional vocal cast and expert conducting by Gaétan Jarry help bring to life this tale of friendship and deep affection, as well as military conflict and courtly intrigue. It is, after all, through the loss of a friend that brings about the horrors of war and the emptiness of power; when the curtain closes on David, he lets out one final lament: "J'ai perdu ce que j'aime / Pour moi tout est perdu" (I have lost what I love / All is now lost to me).

This is just one of hundreds of stunning operas available on medici.tv, the web's leading classical music streaming platform!

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