Le Concert Spirituel – Hervé Niquet conductor – Véronique Gens Armide – Tassis Christoyannis Hidraot, La Haine – Reinoud Van Mechelen Renaud – Chantal Santon Jeffery Phénice, Lucinde – Katherine Watson Sidonie, une Naïade, une Nymphe, un Plaisir – Philippe-Nicolas Martin Aronte, Artémidor, Ubalde – Zachary Wilder Le Chevalier Danois
Hervé Niquet and his “Concert Spirituel” return to BOZAR with Armide. It was the most successful opera of the eleven lyrical tragedies that composer Jean-Baptiste Lully and librettist Philippe Quinault collaborated on. Inspired in part by Tasso’s poem Jerusalem Delivered, this opera tells the story of the amorous adventures of Armide, a sorceress and the niece of the King of Damascus, interpreted here by the outstanding Veronique Gens. Armide ensnares the crusaders and the Christian knight Renaud (Reinoud Van Mechelen) with her magic spells. Armide was considered to symbolise very essence of French spirit well into the eighteenth century, several decades after it was composed. French music advocates that participated in the “Querelle des Bouffons” (a battle of rival musical philosophies) sang its praises.