Purcell: King Arthur

Fr. 7, Sa. 8 and Su. 9 december 2018
Surtitles in French
Approximate duration: 
1h45 without intermission


A true baroque gem, signed by Henry Purcell, with a plot rich in twists and turns and colourful characters; King Arthur has met with continuing success since its first performance in 1690. 


The story tells of the confrontation between the Breton Christian King Arthur and the pagan King Oswald the Saxon. Assisted by two enchanters – Merlin on the side of good and Osmond on the side of evil – they fight for Brittany and beautiful Emmeline, a young blind girl. Love, honour and peace will triumph, saved as if by magic.
The legend comes back to life conducted by Hervé Niquet, one of the masters of this repertoire, directing the Concert Spirituel, in a staging by Corinne and Gilles Benizio, aka Shirley and Dino, who combine poetry and fantasy, without affecting Purcell’s powerful music: an original and fascinating evening which enchanted the public when it was created!


King Arthur of Purcell - Extract

Editions: Hervé Niquet for Le Concert Spirituel
Production: Opéra National de Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon, coproduction with the Festival de Radio-France et Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon.
Production DVD Glossa


Henry Purcell (1659-1695)
King Arthur

Semi-opera in five acts on a libretto by John Dryden, created in London in 1691.
2018, 10th anniversary of this production



Chantal Santon-Jeffery Soprano

Bénédicte Tauran Soprano

Emiliano Gonzalez Toro Tenor

Marc Mauillon Baryton

João Fernandes Bass


Hervé Niquet Adaptation and music director

Corinne et Gilles Benizio (alias Shirley et Dino) Adaptation, design and staging

Le Concert Spirituel


Caroline Bibring Director assistant

Catherine Rigault Costumes

Jacques Rouveyrollis Lights

Jessica Duclos Light assistant

Elisabeth Geiger Accompanist and voice coach