Czech mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená is joined by the French baroque ensemble Le Concert d’Astree, conducted by its founder Emmanuelle Haïm in a concert that celebrates the glories of the French baroque in music by Charpentier and Rameau.
The carefully crafted programme, to be performed in Spain, Sweden and Dublin, features works from Tragédies Lyriques of the 17th and 18th century with extracts from Charpentier’s Médée and Rameau’s Castor et Pollux, Dardanus, Hippolyte et Aricie and Les Indes Galantes.
The esteemed Kožená, who was appointed a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 2003 for her services to French music, is also a previous Gramophone Artist of the Year, Echo Award and Diapason d’or winner.
A prolific performing and recording artist, Kožená made her first appearance at New York’s Metropolitan Opera in 2003 as Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. She has since performed in many of the world’s most prestigious opera houses and concert halls with notable orchestras and conductors. Last season (2016/17) saw her perform with the New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert, Bayerische Rundfunk and Jiří Bělohlávek and Berlin Philharmonic with Sir Simon Rattle as well as performing throughout Europe.
Her varied discography is testament to her wide range of musical interests with releases such as Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (The return of Ulysses to his homeland), Debussy’s Pelléas et Melisande and her most recent release ‘Magdalena Sings Cole Porter’.
For this concert Emmanuelle Haïm leads the baroque ensemble Le Concert d’Astrée that she founded in 2000. After studying piano and harpsichord, Emmanuelle Haïm chose conducting and was soon invited to perform on the most prestigious international stages, where she met with resounding success with the Glyndebourne Touring Opera, the Chicago Lyric Opera, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO), the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Frankfurt Hessischer Rundfunk Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Wiener Philharmoniker. Her energetic conducting and intense readings have together earned her the nickname of “The Ms Dynamite of French Baroque”. This season, she is expanding her partnership with prestigious foreign orchestras: the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Swedish Radio Orchestra and the Leipzig Orchestra.
Emmanuelle Haïm’s recordings for the Erato/Warner Classics label at the head of her ensemble Le Concert d’Astrée have been widely acclaimed: Victoires de la Musique Classique (best recording in 2009 for Lamenti and in 2008 for Carestini, The Story of a Castrato), Echo Deutscher Musikpreis, nomination for the Grammy Awards (Dido and Aeneas, 2004, Une fête baroque, 2013). Recent releases include the DVD of Hippolyte et Aricie by Rameau and a recording of Handel’s Messiah, followed by the DVD of La Finta Giardiniera by Mozart, and a DVD of Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno by Handel (Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, 2016).
Major tours regularly lead Emmanuelle Haïm to perform in the world’s top venues with Le Concert d’Astrée, alongside prestigious soloists in programmes devoted to 17th and 18th century music: Giulio Cesare Highlights (Natalie Dessay and Christophe Dumaux, 2014), Monstres, Sorcières et Magiciens (Anne Sofie von Otter, Laurent Naouri, Patricia Petibon, Christopher Purves and Nahuel Di Pierro, 2015 and 2016), followed by Médée trahie and Héroïnes baroques (Magdalena Kožená, 2015, 2016) and Desperate Lovers with Sandrine Piau and Christophe Dumaux in 2016. That same year, Le Concert d’Astrée made its debut at London’s prestigious Wigmore Hall and at the Tonhalle in Zürich with Mozart’s Gran Partita.
A loyal ambassador of the Baroque period and French musical expertise, Emmanuelle Haïm is a Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur, an Officier des Arts et des Lettres and an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music.
Crédit Mutuel Nord Europe is the principal corporate sponsor of Le Concert d’Astrée. Ensemble-in-residence at the Opéra de Lille, Le Concert d’Astrée receives support from the City of Lille. The Association Le Concert d’Astrée receives support from the Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication – Direction régionale des affaires culturelles des Hauts-de-France (Hauts-de-France Regional Department of Cultural Affairs Ministry) in the form of a subsidy for an approved company. The Département du Nord is a partner of Le Concert d’Astrée.
Gothenburg Concert House
National Concert Hall, Earlsfort Terrace, Ireland