Les Arts Florissants were established to recreate the sounds of Baroque opera and have unearthed many 17th and 18th century musical treasures that haven’t been heard for hundreds of years.
Christie’s great passion is Italian Baroque lyric work and the antipasto platter of assorted delights offered on Perth Concert Hall’s grand stage included extracts from arias and ensembles by Baroque masters such as Handel, Vivaldi, Mozart, Stradella and Hayden.
The six singers were selected from Christie’s master-class academy Le Jardin des Voix, and hailed from Spain, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States. As Co-Director Paul Agnew explained, the program was adapted to their individual voices, with each piece carefully chosen to show off their best aspects.
Spanish soprano Lucía Martín-Cartón and Italian Renato Dolcini were the stand-out performers, while the playful antics of Tenor Nicholas Scott and Bass John Taylor Ward kept the audience smiling.
The first half of the concert opened with the ensemble lightheartedly gathering and interacting before they explored the power of music to describe, evoke and amplify emotions such as love, hate, jealousy and rage.
The second half looked at the way music – and the business of music – was practiced in the Baroque era, with sketches such as a composer anxiously writing an opera and an agent attempting to woo a young mezzo-soprano.
The beautifully scored orchestral music and incredible group of singers was a magnificent way to sample the delights of Italian Baroque and a credit to William Christie and his team.
2015 Perth Festival
In An Italian Garden
Les Arts Florissants and William Christie
Venue: Perth Concert Hall
Date: 7 March 2015
Tickets: $25 – $135