July 30, 2024
William Christie, Rowan Pierce, James Way, Les Arts Florissants
Les Arts Florissants
William Christie, the famous Franco-American harpsichordist and conductor, returns to La Moutte with « Les Arts Florissants ». Always a rare, exceptional moment, a wonderful journey into the Baroque world...

William Christie, musical direction, organ & harpsichord
Rowan Pierce, soprano
James Way, tenor
"Arts Florissants" orchestra.
George Frideric Handel
Neuf Airs allemands


Category 1 - 80€
Category 2 - 60€
Category 3 - 40€
Reduced rate (cat. 2 et 3) - 30€
PMR : Reservations by telephone required

Château de la Moutte - Courtyard
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William Christie
Co-musical Director, Founder William Christie, harpsichordist, conductor, musicologist, and teacher, is the inspiration behind one of the most exciting musical adventures of the last 40 years. A pioneer in the rediscovery of Baroque music, he has introduced the repertoire of 17th- and 18th-century France to a very wide audience across the globe. Born in Buffalo, and educated at Harvard and Yale, William Christie has lived in France since 1971. The turning point in his career came in 1979, when he founded Les Arts Florissants.

As director of this vocal and instrumental ensemble, William Christie soon made his mark as both a musician and man of the theatre, in the concert hall and the opera house. Major public recognition came in 1987 with the production of Lully’s Atys at the Opéra Comique in Paris.

From Charpentier to Rameau, through Couperin, Mondonville, William Christie is the uncontested master of tragédie-lyrique as well as opéra-ballet, and is just as comfortable with the French motet as with music of the court. But his affection for French music does not preclude him from exploring other European repertoires as Monteverdi, Rossi, Scarlatti, Landi, Purcell, Handel, Mozart, Haydn or Bach.

Notable among his most recent operatic work are Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea at the Salzburg Festival, Rameau’s Platée at Theater an der Wien, Mondonville’s Titon et l'Aurore at the Opéra Comique, Handel’s Partenope on international tour and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at the Teatros del Canal in Madrid, Opéra Royal de Versailles and Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona.

As a guest conductor, William Christie often appears alongside the Berliner Philharmoniker or the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at opera festivals such as Glyndebourne or opera houses such as the Metropolitan Opera of New York, the Zurich Opernhaus, or the Opéra National de Lyon. His extensive discography includes more than 100 recordings. The most recent ones – “Générations: Senaillé - Leclair”; Platée; L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato – were issued by harmonia mundi in the “Les Arts Florissants” collection.

Wishing to develop further his work as a teacher, in 2002 William Christie created Le Jardin des Voix, Les Arts Florissant’s biennial baroque Academy for young singers, now established at Thiré in Vendée. Since 2007 he has been artist in residence at the Juilliard School in New York, where he gives master classes twice a year. In 2021, he launches with Les Arts Florissants the first “Arts Flo Masterclasses” for young professional musicians at the Quartier des Artistes in Thiré (Vendée, Pays de la Loire – France). In 2012, he created the Festival Dans les Jardins de William Christie in his own gardens, located in the French village of Thiré in the Vendée, where he welcomes every summer young musicians from the Juilliard School and singers of the Jardin des Voix along with the musicians and singers of Les Arts Florissants.

William Christie has bequeathed his real-estate assets to the Foundation Les Arts Florissants –William Christie created in 2018.

In November 2008, William Christie was elected to France’s Académie des Beaux-Arts, and gave his official inaugural speech under the dome of the Institut de France in January 2010. In 2022 he was the recipient of the PdSK (German Record Critics’ Award) Honorary Award.

Highlights of the 2023-24 season include: on the opera stage, new productions of Charpentier’s Médée at the Opéra national de Paris, Purcell’s The Fairy Queen and Handel’s Ariodante; on the concert stage, J.S. Bach’s Saint John’s Passion, Campra’s Requiem, Haydn’s Seven Last words of Christ and Italian Arias with countertenors Hugh Cutting and Carlo Vistoli. The 2024-2025 season will see the celebration of William Christie's 80th birthday, with an anniversary tour and a series of exceptional events.
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Rowan Pierce
Yorkshire born soprano Rowan Pierce received the President’s Award from HRH The Prince of Wales at RCM in 2017, the First Prize and Song Prize at the inaugural Grange Festival International Singing Competition and the first Schubert Society singer prize. She was a Rising Star of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and a Harewood Artist at English National Opera.

She has appeared on the concert platform throughout Europe, North and South America with leading ensembles including the Academy of Ancient Music, Gabrieli Consort, Freiburg Baroque, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras. She made her debuts at the BBC Proms Festival and Wigmore Hall in 2017 and has subsequently returned to both.

Rowan appears frequently at Festivals in the UK and in Europe. Recent highlights include appearances in the Edinburgh International Festival with the English Concert and the RSNO, collaborations with Sir Thomas Allen and Christopher Glynn at the Ryedale Festival, Dame Anne Murray and Malcolm Martineau at the Oxford Lieder Festival and with Roger Vignoles at the Leeds Lieder Festival. Future concerts include Israel in Egypt with the SCO, Messiah with the Hallé, Christmas Oratorio with the Britten Sinfonia and concerts with Les Arts Florissants, Early Opera Company, Polyphony and Florilegium.

Opera appearances include Miss Wordsworth / Albert Herring, Princess / L’enfant et les Sortilèges, Drusilla / L’incoronazione di Poppea, Barbarina and Susannah / Le nozze di Figaro, Belinda / Dido and Aeneas, Papagena / The Magic Flute, Tiny / Paul Bunyan, and Papiria / Lucio Papirio Dittatore. Recent and future engagements include her Glyndebourne Festival debut performing Oberto / Alcina, Papagena for The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Quivera / The Indian Queen for the Opera de Lille, Opera du Caen and Opera du Luxembourg under Emmanuelle Haim, Oberto for the Staatstheater Stuttgart as well as Barbarina for the Grange Festival, English National Opera and Nevill Holt Opera and Galatea for the Vache Baroque Festival.

Rowan’s discography includes Purcell ‘The Cares of Lovers (Lynn), Vaughan Williams Sinfonia Antartica with the RLPO (Onyx), King Arthur with the Gabrieli Consort (Signum), Acis and Galatea with the Early Opera Company (Chandos - BBC Music Magazine Opera Award Winner 2019), Schubert Lieder with Roderick Williams and Christopher Glynn (Hyperion).
James Way
Tenor James Way is fast gaining international recognition for the versatility of his voice and commanding stage presence. James is passionate about a career taking in a variety of music as both performer and artistic director. Having followed his initial interest in baroque music through the young artist programmes of Les Arts Florissants and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment he immediately became in demand as a soloist for conductors including William Christie, Rene Jacobs, Harry Bicket and Trevor Pinnock.

The versatility of his voice means he is equally comfortable in later repertoire and has a particular affinity for the music of Britten and Stravinsky. His performances include Flute in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Dalia Stasevska, The Son in Laurent Pelly's production of Les Mamelles de Tiresias (winner of Best New Opera Production at the 2022 Opera Awards) with Robin Ticciati both for Glyndebourne Festival, Holy Fool Boris Godunov with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Jakub Hrůša and Lechmere Owen Wingrave for Grange Park Opera, and a number of performances of Stravinsky Pulcinella with orchestras including the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Radio Orchestra, Copenhagen Philharmonic with Barbara Hannigan, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Orchestra Sinfonica de Milano with Alpesh Chauhan OBE.

This coming season’s highlights include Handel’s La Resurrezione with Marc Minkowski, the Young King in George Benjamin’s Lessons in Love and Violence with Orchestre de Paris conducted by the composer, Acis & Galatea (Acis) and L’incoronazione di Poppea (Lucano) with Harry Bicket and the English Concert as well as a recital at the Oxford International Song Festival with pianist Natalie Burch.

His recent performances include Zadok (Solomon) with Harry Bicket & the English Concert at Carnegie Hall, Lurcanio (Ariodante) with Il Pomo d’Oro, Bach St Matthew Passion with Les Talens Lyriques under Christophe Rousset and as the Evangelist with the Irish Baroque Orchestra and Peter Whelan. As artistic director he has led concerts including Schütz A Christmas Story and Handel 9 German Arias with Rachel Podger in a new English translation by Jeremy Sams at St Martin-in-the-Fields.

In demand as an interpreter of Handel, his performances of Messiah have won praise with orchestras internationally including Handel & Haydn Society Boston, Les Arts Florissants, Freiburger Barockorchester, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Dunedin Consort. His debut as Jupiter in Handel Semele at the Musikverein was the start in a long line of Handel roles including Samson (title role), Acis and Damon Acis & Galatea Tempo Il Trionfo del Tempo e Disinganno, Lurcanio (Ariodante) as well as tenor soloist in Israel in Egypt, Foundling Anthem and L’allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato.

“Handelians couldn’t really complain given the vocal riches showered on us by [Louise] Alder and [James] Way” Hugh Canning, Opera Magazine, Jupiter / Semele 2017 James has a growing discography including Handel L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato with Les Arts Florissants and William Christie and Stanford Requiem with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, on Hyperion, ‘Songs of Faith, Love and Nonsense,' a disk of Stanford songs recorded with Roderick Williams and Andrew West, Purcell's Fairy Queen with Gabrieli Consort, conducted by Paul McCreesh and King Arthur, which won BBC Music Magazine's Recording of the Year.

James is a former Britten-Pears Young Artist, he is also a laureate of William Christie’s Les Arts Florissants ‘Jardin des Voix’ and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment’s Rising Stars young artist programmes and was awarded an Independent Opera Voice Fellowship. He was the winner of the Second Prize in the 62nd Kathleen Ferrier Awards at Wigmore Hall.
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Les Arts Florissants
An ensemble of singers and instrumentalists specialized in the performance of Baroque music on period instruments, Les Arts Florissants are renowned the world over. Founded in 1979 by the Franco-American harpsichordist and conductor William Christie, the Ensemble, named for a short opera by Marc-Antoine Charpentier, has played a pioneering role in the revival of a Baroque repertoire that had long been neglected (including the rediscovery of countless treasures in the collections of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France). Today that repertoire is widely performed and admired: not only French music from the reign of Louis XIV, but also more generally European music of the 17th and 18th centuries. Since 2007, the Ensemble is also conducted by the British tenor Paul Agnew, who is appointed Musical Codirector of Les Arts Florissants in 2019.

Each season Les Arts Florissants give around 100 concerts and opera performances in France—at the Philharmonie de Paris, where they are artists in residence, the Paris Opéra-Comique, the Paris National Opera, the Château de Versailles, as well as at numerous festivals—and are an active ambassador for French culture abroad, being regularly invited to New York, London, Edinburgh, Brussels, Vienna, Salzburg, Madrid, Barcelona, Moscow, and elsewhere.

Since the 1987 production of Lully’s Atys at the Opéra Comique in Paris, which was triumphantly revived in May 2011, it has been on the opera stage that Les Arts Florissants have enjoyed their greatest successes. Notable productions include works by Rameau (Les Indes galantes, Hippolyte et Aricie, Les Boréades, Les Paladins, Platée), Lully and Charpentier (Médée, David et Jonathas, Les Arts florissants, Armide), Handel (Orlando, Acis and Galatea, Semele, Alcina, Serse, Hercules, L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato), Purcell (King Arthur, Dido and Aeneas, The Fairy Queen), Mozart (The Magic Flute, Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Monteverdi (his opera trilogy), but also by composers who are less frequently played, such as Landi (Il Sant’Alessio), Cesti (Il Tito), Campra (Les Fêtes vénitiennes) and Hérold (Zampa).

For their theater productions, Les Arts Florissants have called on the talents of some of the greatest stage directors, including Jean-Marie Villégier, Robert Carsen, Adrian Noble, Andrei Serban, Luc Bondy, Deborah Warner, David McVicar, Claus Guth and Jérôme Deschamps and Macha Makeïeff, as well as on renowned choreographers such as Béatrice Massin, Ana Yepes, Jirí Kylián, Blanca Li, Trisha Brown, Robyn Orlin, José Montalvo, Françoise Denieau, Dominique Hervieu and Mourad Merzouki.

Les Arts Florissants enjoy an equally high profile in the concert hall, as illustrated by their many acclaimed concert or semi-staged performances of operas and oratorios (Rameau’s Zoroastre, Anacréon and Les Fêtes d’Hébé, Charpentier’s Actéon and La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers, Campra’s Idoménée and Mozart’s Idomeneo, Montéclair’s Jephté, Rossi’s L’Orfeo and Handel’s Giulio Cesare as well as his Messiah, Theodora, Susanna, Jephtha and Belshazzar), their secular and sacred chamber-music programs (petits motets by Lully and Charpentier, madrigals by Monteverdi and Gesualdo, court airs by Lambert, hymns by Purcell, among others) and their approach to large-scale works (particularly the grands motets by Rameau, Mondonville, Campra and Charpentier, as well as Handel’s Messiah and J.S. Bach’s Matthew’s and John’s Passion).

The Ensemble has produced an impressive discography: nearly 100 recordings (CD and DVD) and its own collection in collaboration with harmonia mundi directed by William Christie and Paul Agnew.

In recent years, Les Arts Florissants have launched several education programs for young musicians. The most emblematic is the Academy of Le Jardin des Voix: created in 2002, it is held every two years and has already brought a substantial number of new singers into the limelight. The Arts Flo Juniors program, launched in 2007, enables conservatory students to join the orchestra and chorus for the length of a production, from the first day of rehearsals up to the final performance. And then there is the partnership between William Christie, Les Arts Florissants and New York's Juilliard School of Music, which since 2007 has allowed a fruitful artistic exchange between the U.S. and France. Launched in 2021, a yearly program of masterclasses in Thiré (Vendée, Pays de la Loire) comes to complete this panel of programs with short working sessions led by William Christie and Paul Agnew, to help young professionals improve their skills.

Les Arts Florissants also organize numerous events aimed at building new audiences. Linked to each year’s concert program, they are designed for both amateur musicians and non-musicians, adults as much as children.

In 2012, William Christie and Les Arts Florissants created the festival Dans les Jardins de William Christie, in partnership with the Conseil départemental de la Vendée. An annual event, the festival brings together artists from Les Arts Florissants, pupils from the Juilliard School and finalists from Le Jardin des Voix for concerts and promenades musicales in the gardens created by William Christie at Thiré, in the Vendée. In addition to the festival, Les Arts Florissants are working with the endowment fund Les Jardins de Musique de William Christie towards the creation of a permanent cultural venue in Thiré. In 2017, following a decision by the French Ministry of Culture, Les Arts Florissants and the endowment fund « Les Jardins de Musique de William Christie » have been awarded the national label « Centre culturel de Rencontre », which distinguishes projects associating creation, patrimony and transmission. In 2018, Les Arts Florissants become the Foundation Les Arts Florissants – William Christie.

The 2024-2025 season will see the celebration of William Christie's 80th birthday, with an anniversary tour and a series of exceptional events.

Les Arts Florissants receives financial support from the State, the Regional Direction of Cultural Affairs (DRAC), the Département de la Vendée and the Région Pays de la Loire. The Selz Foundation is their Principal Sponsor. Aline Foriel-Destezet and the American Friends of Les Arts Florissants are Major Sponsors. Les Arts Florissants have been artists in residence at the Philharmonie de Paris since 2015.

Les Arts Florissants receives financial support from the State, the Regional Direction of Cultural Affairs (DRAC),the Département de la Vendée and the Région Pays de la Loire.The Selz Foundation is their Principal Sponsor.Aline Foriel-Destezet and the American Friends of Les Arts Florissants are Major Sponsors.Les Arts Florissants has been ensemble in residence at the Philharmonie de Paris since 2015 and is recognized as a “Heritage Sitefor Culture”