Marin Marais : Alcione
Alcione is Marin Marais’s masterpiece. A viola da gamba player, he wrote numerous chamber music masterpieces but had a limited career in opera: Lully’s dominant position silenced all other composers in this area…Marais was already in his forties when he could have one of his compositions staged. He soon became the permanent conductor of the Académie Royale de Musique but only 4 of his operas where staged.
Alcione (1706) is undoubtedly the most accomplished of these opera; it was also his great success and revived all along the 18th century; extracts were also played at the Court Balls, notably his famous “Tempest”. This bravura orchestral piece would keep the work in memories for three centuries… Until after having matured the idea for thirty years, Jordi Savall decided to give a staged version of this work which he considers essential.
Savall, the viola da gamba player, is indeed at the heart of this project: he has known intimately and played this music for more than half a century and the film Tous les matins du monde has turned him into the most famous defender of this repertoire. After his researched work on French opera orchestra music, from Louis XIII to Rameau, after having played and recorded the Suites de Danse from Alcione, here comes finally the staged version of the complete opera. With a magnificent cast of singers, the subtle direction of Louis Moaty, Jordi Savall faces his “father” Marin Marais: a major encounter !
Marin Marais (1656-1728)
Opera in one prologue and five acts on a libretto by Antoine Houdar de La Motte
First performed at the Académie royale de musique on 18th February 1706
Production : Opéra Comique
Coproduction : Gran Teatre de Barcelone, Opéra Royal/Château de Versailles Spectacles, Théâtre de Caen
With the collaboration of CRAC de Cherbourg