Akademie Versailles 2018

Akademie Versailles 2018

International Masterclasses of French Baroque Musicfor Singers and Harpsichordists

7th–11th March 2018
Academy of Performing Arts
Music and Dance Faculty, Lichtenstein Palace

Malostranské náměstí 258/13, Praha 1 - Malá Strana

Akademie Versailles is an international educational project aimed at the interpretation of French Baroque music and its period performance practice. The project is organized by Collegium Marianum and the Centre de musique baroque de Versailles (CMBV) in collaboration with the French Institute and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. It is part of a long-term partnership of the Summer Festivities of Early Music in Prague with the CMBV whose task is to preserve and promote French Baroque music.

Thank you letters from students of Akademie Versailles

This Akademie Versailles was an important event for me, it was great to have the opportunity to work with and learn from so many competent professionals and talented musicians. Thank you a lot!

These are all wonderful memories to really treasure forever.

It was an amazing experience!!!

The attendants will study arias from Baroque operas and cantatas in French and Italian by composers such as Lully, Rameau, Campra, Montéclair and Clérambault, with a special emphasis on ornamentation, declamation, gesture and scenic aspects of performance.


The masterclasses were aimed at students from conservatories and music universities, professionals and music pedagogues.

  • individual lessons of solo performance and interpretation
  • individual lessons of gesture, dance and scenic aspects of performance
  • individual lessons of rhetoric and pronunciation of French and Italian languages
  • chamber music
  • lectures by leading specialists in the field
  • performance by the lecturers
  • final performance by the participants
  • possibility of attendance as an auditor for the duration of the masterclass


Chantal Santon-Jeffery - solo vocal performance, interpretation, ornamentation

Often acclaimed as one of the most accomplished French sopranos of the moment, Chantal Santon-Jeffery has created numerous operatic roles from Mozart to the contemporary repertoire. Apart from receiving unanimous praise from the press for her performance of the title character of the opera Lolo Ferrari by Michel Fourgon, she has starred as Senta in Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, as Governess in Britten’s The turn of the screw, as Tancrède in the opera of the same name by Campra, or in Purcell’s King Arthur and Dido and Aeneas).


She has collaborated with a number of leading orchestras, including Le Concert Spirituel, Les Talens Lyriques, Le Cercle de l’Harmonie, Les Siècles, Opera Fuoco, the Brussels Philharmonic, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. She has recently been involved in productions at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and Salle Pleyel in Paris, at the Royal Opera in Versailles, Avignon Opera, and Liège Opera, and appeared at the BOZAR centre in Brussels, in Konzerthaus in Vienna, and others. Fascinated by the revival of the classic and Romantic French repertoire, she has participated in numerous concerts and recordings supported by the Bru Zane Foundation.


Among her many recordings count “King Arthur” by Purcell (Concert Spirituel; DVD), “Frédégonde” by d’Ollone and “La Messe Pontificale” by Dubois (with the Brussel Philarmonic), “Renaud” by Sacchini (Les Talens Lyriques), “Les Mystères d’Isis” by Mozart/Lachnitz and “Les fêtes de l’Hymen” by Rameau (Le Concert Spirituel), and “Le Temple de la Gloire” by Rameau (Les Agrémens).

Deda Cristina Colonna – gesture, scenic aspects, dance

Director and choreographer Deda Cristina Colonna works especially in the field of Baroque and Classical opera. Her style is deeply influenced by her own stage experience, with a special expertise in Baroque dance, rhetorical gesture and period acting. Although it is based on historically informed practice, her work reaches out to today’s audiences through the use of a modern stage style, influenced also by drama and other forms of contemporary theatre.


Deda Cristina Colonna graduated in classical ballet at Civico Istituto Musicale Brera (Novara) and at Ecole Supérieure d’Etudes Chorégraphiques (Paris). She graduated from the Sorbonne, specialising in Renaissance and Baroque Dance. She has worked with the company Theater der Klänge (Düsseldorf) and was a soloist and guest choreographer with the New York Baroque Dance Company.


As a director she has created original projects, including Voluptas Dolendi - I Gesti del Caravaggio (Teatro Verdi, Trieste), and has choreographed a great number of works such as, for example, Ottone in Villa by A. Vivaldi (Copenhagen Opera Festival; nomination for the Reumert Award for best opera 2014), Il Giasone by F. Cavalli and Il Matrimonio Segreto by D. Cimarosa (Drottningholm Palace Theatre), Armide by J.-B. Lully (Innsbruck Festival of Early Music and Music Festival Potsdam Sanssouci), and Didone Abbandonata by L. Vinci (Opera Florence / Maggio Musicale Fiorentino).

Jory Vinikour – harpsichord, basso continuo

Jory Vinikour is recognized as one of the outstanding harpsichordists of his generation. Born in Chicago, Jory Vinikour came to Paris on a Fulbright scholarship to study with Huguette Dreyfus and Kenneth Gilbert. First Prizes in the International Harpsichord Competitions of Warsaw (1993) and the Prague Spring Festival (1994) brought him to the public’s attention, and he has since appeared in festivals and concert series throughout much of the world.


A highly-diversified career takes him to the world’s most important festivals, concert halls, and opera houses as recitalist and concerto soloist, partner to many of today’s finest instrumental and vocal artists, coach, and conductor. A concerto soloist with a repertoire ranging from Bach to Poulenc to Nyman, he has performed as soloist with leading orchestras including Rotterdam Philharmonic, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonic of Radio France, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, MDR Symphony Orchestra, Cape Town Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Well-known as an accompanist, he has worked extensively with artists such as Anne Sofie von Otter, David Daniels, Vivica Genaux, Magdalena Kožená, Annick Massis, Marijana Mijanovic, Dorothea Röschmann, and Rolando Villazón. Mr. Vinikour appears regularly as harpsichordist at the finest opera houses and festivals in Europe: Paris Opera, Netherlands Opera, Salzburg Festival, Teatro Real de Madrid, Baden-Baden, Glyndebourne, etc.

Benoît Dratwicki – rhetoric, declamation and pronunciation of the French language

The music historian and theoretician specializing in French opera of the 18th century, Benoît Dratwicki has been the artistic director of the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles since 2006. The state-funded institution focuses on the rediscovery of French Baroque music and its reintroduction on French and international stages. Benoît Dratwicki, who originally studied the cello and bassoon at the Metz Conservatoire and later musicology at the Sorbonne in Paris, has authored a number of critically acclaimed monographs. These include the first-ever biography of the director of Parisian opera Antoine Dauvergne or a monograph on François Colin de Blamont.

He has also prepared the modern editions of various Baroque scores and contributed to the implementation of modern premieres, recordings and performances of dramatic works of French Baroque music. He is a sought-after author of sleeve notes for prestigious labels, including, for example a collection of French operas recorded by Concert Spirituel for Glossa). For CMBV he has prepared transcriptions and modern editions of vocal music preserved in the local archives (e.g. Campra, Lully, and Remeau). Between 1996 and 2008 he maintained a collaboration with the L’Astrée ensemble which he co-founded and for whom he arranged a great number of period compositions. He has further produced arrangements and transcriptions on the basis of commissions from other ensembles, including Messe pontificale by Théodore Dubois for the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra and Piccini’s Atys for Le Cercle de l’Harmonie.

Since 2006 he has been active at the Centre of French Romantic Music, Palazzetto Bru-Zane in Venice. His special responsibility as a cultural counsellor at the institution is to supervise the productions of operatic repertoire. He is regularly invited as guest at colloquia, conferences and as member of jury at international competitions. For many years he has dedicated himself to the production and performances of significant works of music history and musical theatre. He has contributed to some of the most important international co-productions whose aim has been to introduce the international public to some of the lesser known regions of the French period repertoire by the means of concert performance, operatic productions, as well CD and DVD recordings.

Barbara Nestola – rhetoric, declamation and pronunciation of the Italian language

Barbara Nestola obtained a Phd in Musicology at the University of Tours, following a degree in modern humanities (with a specialisation in music and history) at the University of Pisa and a piano diploma from Lucca Conservatoire. In 2000–2001 she was a research assistant at the University of Pisa.


Since 2001 she is Ingénieur d’études at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and is part of the research team of the Centre d’Études Supérieures de la Renaissance/Centre de musique baroque de Versailles. She is a member of “Cavalli and 17th-century Venetian Opera”, a research group of the International Society of Musicology overseeing the edition of the works of Francesco Cavalli for Bärenreiter under the direction of Ellen Rosand (Yale). Her works are dedicated to the reception of Italian music in France, musical practice at the Comédie Italienne and the Comédie Française, as well as the repertoire of the Académie Royale de Musique in Paris. She regularly collaborates with professional performers in concerts, recitals, opera productions and audiovisual recordings.

Organized by


Collegium Marianum – Týnská škola
as an additional programme of the Summer Festivities of Early Music international music festival 2018

Centre de musique baroque de Versailles


in collaboration with


Department of Historically Informed Performance Practice and the Harpsichord Department


and Institut français