Opera Director & Designer

Idylle sur la Paix & La Fête de Rueil

Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632–1687)

Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643–1704)

Lully’s Idylle sur la Paix and Charpentier’s La Fête de Rueil are two pieces dictated by similar conditions: destined to be performed during lavish parties offered by ambitious courtiers to entertain Louis XIV and designed to celebrate the truce and the peace it was supposed to ensure.

Marc-Antoine Charpentier

Idylle sur la PaixPhoto Kathy Wittman, Boston Early Music Festival

Boston Early Music Festival

Chamber Opera Series

NEC’s Jordan Hall, Boston

November  24, 2022

Artists

Paul O’Dette, Musical Director

Stephen Stubbs, Musical Director

Gilbert Blin, Stage Director

Robert Mealy, Concertmaster

Melinda Sullivan, Choreographer

Gwen van den EijndeCostume Designer

Kelly Martin, Lighting Designer

Background

These works knew very different fates: supported by Racine’s and by Lully’s official positions at court, the Idylle sur la Paix was given several performances, while La Fête de Reuil was never performed during Charpentier’s lifetime. Undeniably quintessential of the contrasted styles of the two composers, the works both remain today as testimonies of the taste of their patrons as much as expressions of the royal propaganda that was spreading all over France at the time. Functioning like portraits of the king and the kingdom, the two works were meant to support the monarch in his divine right to rule. Louis XIV does not exist anywhere else in a better light than with these representations, as they have no concern other than the peaceful and benevolent king.

 

 

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  • Boston Early Music Festival: Kathy Wittman
  • Slovak National Theatre: Zdenko Hanout