This exciting operatic double bill, jointly organised by the Cambridge University Baroque Ensemble and Emmanuel College Music Society will include the prologue from Elizabeth Jacquet de la Guerre’s Céphale et Procris, which has been little performed to date, coupled with Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Les arts florissants.
The opera will be fully staged and include dancers.
Our singers, who will receive coaching with French Baroque expert James Halliday, are joined by an experienced early music ensemble conducted from the harpsichord and violin.
The allegorical prologue to Céphale et Procris (for which we are making a new edition in the hope other companies will also discover this gem of French Baroque!) is a celebration of Louis XIV. Flore and Pan are joined by a choir of nymphs and other mythical sea creatures to sing the praises of the sun-king and present to him their games and concerts.
Continuing in an allegorical nature, Charpentier's Les arts florissants depicts the eponymous arts 'Music', 'Architecture', 'Poetry' and 'Painting' at the court of Louis XIV, protected by the 'Peace' which the king maintains through his valour. 'Discord', furious about this prosperity on earth leaves hell to upset this fine balance. 'Peace', with the help of Jupiter resist him and chases him back to hell.