Festival Jardins William Christie 2022 5464 Julien Gazeau

Semi-staged opera


George Frideric Handel


George Frideric Handel


Orchestre des Arts Florissants

Musical direction


Metteur en scène

Nicolas Briançon


Lea DESANDRE, mezzo-soprano, Ariodante
Ana Maria LABIN, soprano, Ginevra
Ana VIEIRA LEITE, soprano, Dalinda
Hugh CUTTING, counter-tenor, Polinesso
Kresimir SPICER, tenor, Lurcanio
Moritz KALLENBERG, tenor, Odoardo
Renato DOLCINI, baritone, Il Re di Scozia

With the generous support of Aline Foriel-Destezet


Considered Handel's most accomplished opera, Ariodante contains some of the most iconic arias in the Baroque repertoire. Yet it was only in 2018 that William Christie and Les Arts Florissants first performed this pristine masterpiece, which they revisit here for a new, youthful production.

Inspired by Ariosto's Orlando furioso, the libretto takes us to medieval Scotland, where the love affair between Ariodante and Ginevra is thwarted by the dark scheming of Polinesso. But a final twist will save the hero from despair and blindness, in an unexpected "happy ending"...

"Limits and freedom": these are the two criteria that motivate William Christie to restore eloquence and vitality to this work written with particular care by Handel. The composer had to gain the recognition of the London public, in spite of the rivalry of a new company which had taken his star performers... This care given to the vocal parts - with great arias of extreme difficulty - was matched by that given to the orchestra, whose virtuosity dazzled the audience. In the absence of real indications on the score, as was common at the time, William Christie once again stands as a visionary historian and painter of emotions, engaging the singers and instrumentalists of Les Arts Florissants in a palette of colors rich in effect and meaning. The audience of 2018 will remember the compelling beauty of this work; those of 2023 will discover an even more vibrant masterpiece.

For this new production, William Christie reunites with one of his young protégés, the mezzo-soprano Lea Desandren now a star in her own right. Though she has often interpreted the greatest arias of Ariodante in concert, this is the first time she will sing the complete opera in a version directed by Nicolas Briançon. She will be joined by soprano Ana Maria Labin as Ginevra, along with a cast of young singers who have graduated from the Jardin des Voix - the now famous international academy of Les Arts Florissants.

Previous dates

Season 2023-24

Dijon / France
Opéra de Dijon

  • Sunday, October 15 2023, 8pm

Versailles / France
Opéra Royal

  • Sunday, October 8 2023, 3pm

Genève / Switzerland
Grand Théâtre

  • Thursday, October 5 2023, 8pm

Paris / France
Philharmonie de Paris / Grande Salle Pierre Boulez

  • Monday, October 2 2023, 8pm

Associated medias

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