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Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-87)

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Lully: Armide


BBC Music Magazine

DVD & Blu-ray Choice - September 2011



Catalogue No:




Release date:

27th June 2011






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Lully: Armide

Stéphanie D’Oustrac (Armide), Paul Agnew (Renaud), Claire Debono (La Gloire, Phénice, Lucinde), Isabelle Druet (La Sagesse, Sidonie, Mélisse), Nathan Berg (Hidraot), Marc Mauillon (Ubalde Aronte), Marc Callaghan (Artémidore), Andrew Tortise (Le Chevalier Danois), Laurent Naouri (La Haine) & Anders J. Dahlin (Un Amant fortuné)

Les Arts Florissants, William Christie



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Book: Philippe Quinault; direction: Robert Carsen; designer: Gideon Davey; Production: Théâtre des Champs-Elysées October 2008

For any enthusiast of Baroque music, the production of Lully's Armide at the Theatre des Champs Elysées, directed by William Christie and staged by Robert Carsen, was an exceptional event. The last and most successful collaboration between Lully and his librettist Quinault, Armide is the ideal of the genre as desired by Louis XIV: a tragic opera that achieves the perfect fusion of music, song and dance. William Christie leads the orchestra and chorus of Les Arts Florissants and a dazzling cast. Stephanie D’Oustrac is the imperious sorceress Armida, overcome by the violence of a forbidden passion.

The bewitching choreography is by Jean-Claude Gallotta.

BBC Music Magazine

September 2011


“Christie and his ensemble...surpass themselves in revivifying this 325-year-old score with imaginative articulation and expressive flair. Gideon Davey's designs are as impressive as Jean-Claude Gallotta's choreography. The cast, too, is remarkable...Not only is the result a comprehensive package supplying an exemplary performance of an unfamiliar Baroque masterpiece, but it vindicates Lully as a great dramatic composer.”

Gramophone Magazine

October 2011

“Something of a problem for present-day directors, it's brilliantly solved here by Robert Carsen...d'Oustrac makes a magnificent Armide, passionate and despairing. Agnew, so experienced in this repertoire, is equally memorable...There's excellent support from Nathan Berg and the other singers...Christie conducts with his customary exuberance: roll on Atys, revived last May at the Opera Comique!”

The Guardian

8th December 2011

“Carsen's elegant, stylised approach fits Lully like a glove...The opera itself is a beautifully sustained disquisition on the nature of desire, to which Carsen brings exquisite eroticism and a fine understanding of how to blend song, dance, psychological detail and ceremonial spectacle into a convincing whole. Les Arts Florissants plays it ravishingly for William Christie...It's classy, sexy entertainment. Treat yourself.”

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