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With Founder and Director William Christie at the Harpsichord

Called a “classy, sexy entertainment of short songs” by London’s The Guardian, this evening by William Christie’s internationally acclaimed Baroque music ensemble, Les Arts Florissants (LAF), is based on a collection of 17th century airs de cours, a category of simple music meant to be sung by laborers and ladies maids alike. The genre soon moved from the street to Grand Siècle drawing rooms, where these songs of love, loss, and licentiousness were relished by the upper echelons of the rich and aristocratic. Presented by Miami Bach Society, the performance—which features LAF founder William Christie at the harpsichord—is part of the Ensemble’s U.S. tour, and marks its Miami debut. The program will present singers skilled in the nuanced performance of airs de cours that range from lovesick shepherds and solitary longings to joyful drinking songs.  Repertoire includes works by Couperin, Charpentier, Chabanceau de la Barre and Michel Lambert, as well as an opportunity to enjoy the rarely-heard Honoré d’Ambruys.

Most of the soloists are former winners of Le Jardin des Voix, Les Arts Florissants’ Academy for young singers which takes place every two years to discover and promote new talents from all over the world.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at 8 pm

New World Center, 500 17th Street, Miami Beach

Songs of Love and Drinking Songs

Les Arts Florissants
William Christie, conductor

Emmanuelle de Negri, soprano
Anna Reinhold, alto
Reinoud Van Mechelen, high tenor
Marc Mauillon, tenor
Lisandro Abadie, bass

Florence Malgoire, Tami Troman, violins
Myriam Rignol, viola da gamba
Thomas Dunford, theorbo
William Christie, hapsichord

Works by Michel Lambert, François Couperin, Joseph Chabanceau de la Barre, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, and Honoré d’Ambruys

Songs of Love and Drinking Songs is presented by the Miami Bach Society in conjunction with the Consulate General of France, with the support of The American Friends of Les Arts Florissants.


Remaining tickets, ranging from $36.50 – $76.50, are available at www.NewWorldCenter.com, by phone at 800-597-3331, or by visiting the New World Center box office at 500 17th St., Miami Beach.

About Les Arts Florissants
William Christie, Musical director, founder
Paul Agnew, Associate musical director and associate conductor
Jonathan Cohen, Associate conductor

The vocal and instrumental ensemble Les Arts Florissants is one of the most renowned and respected early music groups in Europe and around the world. Dedicated to the performance of Baroque music on period instruments, the Ensemble was founded in 1979 by Franco-American harpsichordist and conductor William Christie, and takes its name from a short opera by Marc-Antoine Charpentier. Les Arts Florissants has been largely responsible for the resurgence of interest in 17th-century French repertoire as well as in European music of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Since receiving the Grand Prix de la Critique for its acclaimed 1987 production of Lully’s Atys at the Opéra Comique in Paris, Les Arts Florissants has found great success in the field of opera. Notable productions include works by Rameau (Les Indes galantes, Hippolyte et Aricie, Les Boréades, Les Paladins and most recently Platée), Charpentier (Médée), Handel (Orlando, Acis and Galatea, Semele, Alcinain, Serse, and Hercules), and Purcell (King Arthur, Dido and Aeneas), as well as Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail at the Opéra du Rhin and Monteverdi’s much praised The Return of Ulysses at Aix-en-Provence. Les Arts Florissants has collaborated on productions with renowned stage directors such as Jean-Marie Villégier, Robert Carsen, Deborah Warner, and Andreas Homoki, as well as with choreographers Francine Lancelot, Jiri Kylian, Bianca Li, Trisha Brown, and Robyn Orlin. Les Arts Florissants enjoys an equally high profile in the concert hall, as illustrated by its many acclaimed concert or semi-staged performances of opera and oratorio (Zoroastre, Anacréon and Les Fêtes d’Hébé by Rameau, Actéon and La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers by Charpentier, Idoménée by Campra and Idomeneo by Mozart, Jephté by Montéclair, L’Orfeo by Rossi, Handel’s Giulio Cesare with Cecilia Bartoli, and The Indian Queen by Purcell), as well as chamber music programs both secular and sacred (petits motets by Lully and Charpentier, madrigals by Monteverdi and Gesualdo, court airs by Lambert, hymns by Purcell), its programs for large-scale forces (Gluck/Haydn/Mozart Concert, Grands Motets by Rameau, Mondonville or Campra, oratorios by Haydn) and also oratorios by Handel (Messiah, Israel in Egypt, Theodora, Susanna, Jephtha and Belshazzar).

In partnership with the Philharmonie de Paris since January 2015, Les Arts Florissants frequently performs concerts and operas at Cité de la musique, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, and Opéra Comique in Paris and tours widely within France. The Ensemble is an active ambassador for French culture abroad, regularly invited to the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Lincoln Center in New York, the Barbican Centre in London, the Vienna Festival, Madrid’s Teatro Real, the Edinburgh Festival, the Bozar in Brussels, the Salzburg Festival, and many others.

In recent years Les Arts Florissants has launched several cultural transmission programs: Arts Flos Juniors enables students from French-speaking conservatoires to join the orchestra and chorus for a production; Le Jardin des Voix Academy has already discovered a substantial number of new singers; the partnership with The Juilliard School provides opportunities to build bridges between Europe and America; and a large number of short-term educational actions are also carried out aimed at both amateur and non-musicians.

About William Christie
Harpsichordist, conductor, musicologist, and teacher William Christie is founder of the early music ensemble Les Arts Florissants. His pioneering work to bring new interpretations of neglected repertoire to both the opera house and the concert hall has led to a renewed appreciation of Baroque music for an increasingly wide range of new audiences. Born in Buffalo, NY, Christie has lived since 1971 in France, where he was professor of early music at the Paris Conservatory for more than ten years. His enthusiasm for French Baroque repertoire ranges from Charpentier to Rameau to Montéclair with an expertise in tradédie-lyrique as well as opera-ballet, and he is equally at home with court music and the French motet. Christie is also an avid explorer of other European repertoire, and has given numerous highly praised performances of works by such Italian composers as Monteverdi, Rossi, and Scarlatti in addition to Purcell, Handel, and Haydn. In demand as an opera conductor, he regularly appears at such prestigious venues as the Zurich Opernhaus, The Metropolitan Opera, and most recently at the Glyndebourne Festival for a production of Hippolyte et Aricle.

Christie’s commitment to artist training is clearly demonstrated by Le Jardin des Voix, the young singers’ Academy he launched in 2002; and by his 2012 founding of Dans les Jardin de William Christie, a series that brings together Les Arts Florissants, students from Juilliard, and alumni of Le Jardin des Voix for concerts in the gardens he created in Thiré. He is frequently invited to lead master classes at festivals throughout Europe and since 2007, he has been artist-in-residence at The Juilliard School. William Christie is the recipient of a Prix Georges Pompidou and the Choral Awards Liliane Bettencourt bestowed by the Academy of Fine Arts.

Additional information may be found at www.arts-florissants.com and www.artsflomedia.com.

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