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’).


Sheet music for the study material will be provided by the Centre de musique baroque de Versailles (free of charge).


  • 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

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, Les fêtes de l’Hymen by Rameau (Le Concert Spirituel), and Le Temple de la Gloire by Rameau (Les Agrémens).

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

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:

instrumentalists: 4000 CZK / 150 EUR (including VAT)
singers: 6750 CZK / 250 EUR (including VAT)

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.


REGISTRATION (free of charge):


Information on electronic registration and the online application form can be obtained HERE.

Contact: festival@collegiummarianum.cz
Web: www.akademie-versailles.cz

Each applicant must supply the following with their application form:

(Professional-quality recording is not requisite for the purpose of the application. Please upload recordings in one of the following formats with the on-line application form: wav, mp3, mp4, mov, or avi.)


An audio or video recording:

  • One French Baroque aria
  • One piece of one’s own choice


An audio or video recording of two Baroque compositions (movements) in contrasting tempos:

  • One piece (movement) by a French composer
  • One piece of one’s own choice (not necessarily by a French author)

Deadline for application: 14 March 2021

The results of the application procedure will be announced to the applicants by 31 March 2021.

Registration is free of charge.


Organized by
Collegium Marianum – Týnská škola

as an additional program of the Summer Festivities of Early Music international music festival 2021
and Centre de musique baroque de Versailles


in collaboration with:

The Prague Conservatoire

Institut français Prague