Akademie Versailles 2021

Akademie Versailles 2021

International Masterclasses of French Baroque Music

13–18 July 2021
The Prague Conservatoire
Na Rejdišti 1, Prague 1 - Old Town

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 in Prague and the Prague Conservatoire. It is part of a long-term partnership between the Summer Festivities of Early Music in Prague and the CMBV, whose task it is to preserve and promote French Baroque music.


Masterclass objectives and programme:

François Colin de Blamont: Le Retour des dieux sur la terre (1725)
Jean-Philippe Rameau: Music for the King (Arias and Dances)

concert performance



  • Solo voice: soprano, mezzo-soprano, contralto, countertenor, haute-contre, tenor, baritone, bass-baritone, bass
  • Baroque orchestra: violin, viola, recorder, flauto traverso, oboe, viola da gamba, cello, theorbo, bassoon, harpsichord, double-bass


The masterclasses are aimed at students of music conservatories and universities, professionals and pedagogues.

The classes are taught through English. The pitch for all classes is 415 Hz (A’).


Scores realized by Centre de musique baroque de Versailles.


  • lessons of solo performance
  • lessons of declamation, rhetoric and pronunciation of French
  • performance with accompaniment (with orchestra and basso continuo)
  • lectures by leading specialists in the field
  • specialized lecture
  • final performance by the participants
  • possibility of attendance as an auditor for the duration of the masterclass
  • intensive all-day training program


  • Baroque orchestra
  • expand the knowledge of Baroque style, ornamentation, technique, phrasing and repertoire
  • basso continuo realization recitatives and arias accompaniment
  • lectures by leading specialists in the field
  • specialized lecture
  • final performance by the participants
  • possibility of attendance as an auditor for the duration of the masterclasses
  • intensive all-day training program


Jana Semerádová – conductor, woodwind section

Jana Semerádová is the artistic director of the Collegium Marianum ensemble and programming director of the concert cycle Baroque Soirées and the international music festival Summer Festivities of Early Music. She is engaged in intensive research both at home and abroad and in the study of Baroque gesture, declamation, and dance.


Many of her unique programs are built on the interconnection of music and drama. Under her direction, Collegium Marianum stages several modern premieres each year. Jana Semerádová has made a number of recordings; her CDs with Collegium Marianum have appeared as part of the successful series “Music from Eighteenth-Century Prague” on the Supraphon label. On Supraphon she has also recorded her feature CD “Solo for the King.”


Jana Semerádová has performed on prominent European concert platforms (eg. Bachfest Leipzig, Festival Oude Muziek Utrecht, Mitte Europa, Musikfestspiele Potsdam, Centre de musique baroque de Versailles, Festival de Sablé, Innsbrucker Festwochen, Pražské jaro, Tage Alter Musik Regensburg, Konzerthaus in Vienna and Berlin, and Palau de Música Barcelona). As a soloist she has collaborated with eminent artists such as Magdalena Kožená, Sergio Azzolini, and Enrico Onofri, and she regularly appears with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Il suonar parlante, Wrocławska Orkiestra Barokowa, Batzdorfer Hofkapelle, Ars Antiqua Austria, and moderntimes_1800.


In 2015 she received her habilitation degree as an associate professor of flute from the Faculty of Music and Dance at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.

Chantal Santon Jeffery - solo vocal performance, interpretation, ornamentation

Chantal Santon Jeffery is acclaimed as one of the most accomplished French sopranos of the present day. As comfortable in the miniature of a consort song as in the lyric romantic repertoire, she has embodied numerous roles in the opera, from Mozart (Donna Anna, Donna Elvira, Fiordiligi, the Countess Almaviva, Sandrina) to the contemporary repertoire (a unanimous press praised her Lolo Ferrari in the opera of the same name) including Britten (the Governess in Lille Opera’s The Turn of the Screw), Campra (Herminie in Tancrède), Gassman (Stonatrilla in L’opera seria), Purcell (King Arthur, Dido and Aeneas), Bizet (Frasquita in Carmen at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées), Hervé (Mélusine in Les chevaliers de la table ronde), Boismortier (Altisidore in Don Quichotte chez la Duchesse), Haydn (the title role of Armida), Rameau (La Gloire in Le temple de la Gloire in Berkeley) etc.
She has been invited to sing with such prestigious orchestras as Le Concert Spirituel, Les Talens Lyriques, the Orchestre National de France, the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, I Barocchisti, Les Ambassadeurs, Le Cercle de l’Harmonie, Les Siècles, Opera Fuoco, the Brussels Philharmonic, Pygmalion, the Hong Kong Philharmonic. She has recently performed in prestigious venues in Europe, America, and in Asia.
Among her many recordings (more than 50) are Baroque, Classical, and Romantic French operas and oratorios (often supported by the Fondation Bru and the Centre de musique baroque de Versailles) but also works by Mozart, Martinez, Stradella, Da Gagliano, Purcell, J. Ch. Bach etc.
Recent releases: “Brillez, astres nouveaux!”, a recital of French Baroque opera arias with the Orfeo Orchestra, under the baton of György Vashegyi; Maître Peronilla by Offenbach (in the role of Alvarès) with the Orchestre National de France, conducted by Markus Poschner; Jephté by Montéclair (in the role of Iphise) and Dardanus by Rameau (in the role of Venus), again with the Orfeo Orchestra.

Lenka Torgersen – concertmaster, string section

After completing her studies at the Pilsen Conservatory and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague Lenka Torgersen began devoting to the Baroque violin and early-music performance. From 1999 to 2003 she honed her skills at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis under the tutelage of Chiara Banchini.

From 1999 to 2012 she was concertmaster of Collegium 1704 and La Cetra Barockorchester Basel. At the present time, she is concertmaster of Collegium Marianum and Ensemble Inégal, and also collaborates with numerous other ensembles, including Freitagsakademie Bern, Orchestra J. S. Bach Stiftung St. Gallen, Norsk Barokkorkester, conSequenza, Ensemble Tourbillon, Les Traverseés Baroques, etc. She has played in numerous early-music festival - Festival Oude Muziek Utrecht, Festival La Chaise Dieu, Festival de Sable, Prag Spring Festival, Festival del Camino de Santiago, Festival Santander, MAfestival Bruges, Innsbrucker Festwochen etc. She has recorded Cds for renowned labels – Harmonia Mundi, Accent, Pan Classics, Supraphon, Zig-Zag Territoires. In 2013 recorded Lenka Torgersen her solo CD ‘Il Violino Boemo’ for Supraphon.


Since 2008 she has taught the Baroque violin and ensemble playing at the Týn School within Charles University in Prague. Since 2017 she has been invited regularly by Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and Janáček Academy of Performing Arts in Brno as tutor of baroque violin and early-music performance.

Violaine Cochard - basso continuo section

With Violaine Cochard, the harpsichord unveils all its facets. Her training was clearly rigorous: she started studying in Angers with Françoise Marmin at the young age of eight. She entered the Paris Conservatory in 1991 to study with Christophe Rousset and Kenneth Gilbert, and with Pierre Hantaï for her post-graduate training. In 1999, she won first prize at the prestigious Montreal International Music Competition.

A recitalist and chamber musician, founding member of the Amarillis ensemble (along with Ophélie and Héloïse Gaillard), Violaine Cochard quickly developed a prolific career. She has been a stage partner to eminent musicians, such as the countertenor Gérard Lesne, the gamba player Marianne Muller, and the violinists Amandine Beyer and Stéphanie-Marie Degand. Violaine Cochard is also a noted pedagogue, having taught at the Montpellier Conservatory, and is regularly invited to give master classes there.

After the harpsichord, voice is Violaine Cochard’s other passion, and she is among the most sought-after singing masters in Europe. She shows her devotion to the vocal arts by occupying an important place in several Baroque ensembles: Les Talens Lyriques (Christophe Rousset), Le Concert d’Astrée (Emmanuelle Haïm), La Diane Française (Stéphanie-Marie Degand), and I Gemelli (Emiliano Gonzalez Toro).

In her numerous collaborations, she has recorded around 40 albums for various labels. As a soloist, she has produced two albums of François Couperin’s music and one of J. S. Bach’s works, which was particularly well received by critics. With her long-time duo partner, the violinist Stéphanie-Marie Degand, she recorded an album of Jacques Duphly’s pieces for harpsichord and violin, and also Mozart’s first sonatas. Her most recent solo album, released in October 2018 on the La Musica label, is dedicated to the works of Jacques Duphly and his contemporaries.

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 Conservatory 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 Rameau). 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.

Attendance fee for auditors will be determined individually; the number of passive participants is limited and registration is necessary at festival@collegiummarianum.cz.
The students of the Prague Conservatoire can obtain information about conditions of participation from Mgr. Jakub Kydlíček.