Entrée du Roy!

Versailles of Louis XIV – arias from ballets

and operas by J.-B. Lully and a pastoral cantata by J.-B. Stuck

Jean-François Novelli – tenor
Arnaud Marzorati – baritone
Les Lunaisiens (France)
Arena Musicale -
historical oboe band in the style of the „Grands hautbois du roy“
Collegium Marianum - orchestra in the style of the royal „Petite bande“
Jana Semerádová - artistic director


Monday 8 August 2011, 7.30 pm
The Spanish Hall of the Prague Castle


The richly decorated 17th-century Spanish Hall in the castle of Prague is an ideal and spectacular venue for this programme of music from the period and surroundings of the French Sun king Louis XIV. Appropriate for the hall and its official functions in the Baroque era, today’s concert offers fanfares, overtures, and entrées from some of the most celebrated compositions of the greatest musicians at Louis’s courts in Versailles and in Paris.


While Lully, Philidor, and Delalande were among the champions of solemn and ceremonial music in their tragédies lyriques, comedies-ballets, and symphonies for the king’s suppers, Charpentier and Stuck introduced some Italian elements in the uniquely French music idiom which Lully had created as part of the King’s and Colbert’s propaganda machine of the French nation. After Lully’s death in 1687, the Parisian underground culture of Italian-style music was able to reemerge through Charpentier, who had studied in Rome, and through the composers who introduced the Italian cantata at the court of Philippe d’Orléans around 1700; Stuck was one of them. Like Marais—the king’s chamber star viola da gamba virtuoso—Stuck also composed operas, but Marais’s three tragédies lyriques belong to the best the first years of the 18th century have produced. Almost all the secular and theatrical genres and styles of the first fifty years of Louis XIV’s reign are represented in the superb and glamorous programme tonight’s concert offers.


Featuring an international orchestra in which three baroque ensembles (Les Lunaisiens, Arena Musicale and Collegium Marianum) and musicians from the Czech Republic, France, Poland, Germany and Slovakia will unite their forces with two eminent French soloists, Jean-François Novelli and Arnaud Marzorati, the closing performance promises a truly grandiose finale to the 12th Summer Festivities of Early Music.