The Carnival, 1675

From the most successful comedy-ballets of Molière, chosen by Lully himself...
concert mis-en-espace

Brochures and technical specifications

On October 17, 1675, Lully had a ballet-mascarade entitled Le Carnaval given at the Court, then at Palais-Royal. Based on texts written by Molière, Benserade and Quinault, it was composed of nine ballets (entrées), each taken from previous highly successful works: Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, Les Noces de Village, Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, Le Ballet de Flore, and La Pastorale Comique.

The program published in the same year describes the show:
"The Carnaval, dressed in a recognizable way, appears on a little throne in the back of the theatre. He is surrounded by his entourage dressed in his colours and composed of a great number of people who sing and play many kinds of instruments. The violins who follow him commence the celebration of his return, and Himself, by a story he sings, arouses the gaiety that accompanies him, to give the greatest of monarchs rest from his glorious works."
Lully, not content to use the music of his past works again, transforms them here, sometimes in a way that is completely surprising, as in the extracts of Monsieur de Pourceaugnac where the character in the title role (interpreted by Lully himself) becomes a bourgeous Italian who expresses himself... in singing!
We have chosen the best extracts from this divertissement to give a concert version of it, suitable for the theatre stage as well as concert halls.

• Music by Jean-Baptiste Lully and Marc-Antoine Charpentier
• Texts by Molière

• Olga Pitarch : vocals
• Serge Goubioud : vocals
• Olivier Coiffet : vocals
• Marco Horvat : vocals and Baroque guitar
• Charles-Edouard Fantin : theorbo and Baroque guitar
• Christine Plubeau : bass viol
• Matthieu Boutineau : harpsichord
• Two violons

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Translations by Sally Gordon Mark

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