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22nd Ambronay European Baroque Academy

 The 22nd Ambronay European Baroque Academy will be conducted by Paul Agnew, who for the first time will take on the musical direction, staging and educational supervision. For this occasion, the associate conductor of Les Arts Florissants has put together a beautiful programme inspired by the story of Dido. As an appetiser he presents us with extracts from the opera Didon by Henry Desmarest, and for the main course the opera Dido and Aeneas by Henry Purcell.

The love story between the Queen of Carthage and the Trojan warrior inspired the great English composer Purcell to create a timeless work which is still performed today on the world’s greatest operatic stages. Its modest proportions (less than an hour long with a reduced orchestra) make it the ideal subject for a training project for young musicians. The music is superb from start to finish – from its overture ‘a la française’ to Dido’s final lament ‘When I am laid in earth’. The work is musically varied, constantly alternating between arias, duets, choruses and instrumental dances, and is a theatrical gem which allows the singers to express themselves both vocally and theatrically.

To open the programme, Paul Agnew has chosen several extracts from Desmarest’s Didon. This tragic opera is rarely performed but was very well received at its premiere at the Académie Royale de Musique in 1693, only four years after Purcell’s opera. The music is beautiful and the libretto offers to its principal performer a formidable portrait of a woman. This performance is the public dissemination of an education project bringing together the young musicians taking part in this Academy. These young virtuosos — selected from among the best in Europe — will work on the two pieces in the programme during an intensive rehearsal period first at Ambronay Cultural Encounter Center (France) and then in Collegio Ghislieri in Pavia (Italy). The musicians will undertake an in-depth study of expressivity, theatricality and rhetoric as well as the technical demands of this repertoire.

The Academy will be composed of 9 singers and 12 musicians including the duo Repicco.


Didon, tragic opera (1693) by Henry Desmarest (1661-1741) - extracts (35 min)
Dido and Aeneas
, opera in three acts (1689) by Henry Purcell (1659-1695) - complete performance (approx 50 min)
Tour : 8 – 25 July 2017

Since its creation in 1993, the Ambronay European Baroque Academy has represented an important step in the development of young European artists at the start of their career. From now on it will incorporate the eeemerging (European Eeemerging Ensembles) project, including one or more of the selected ensembles as well as talented young individuals selected from across Europe.
Find more on eeemerging.eu.

The Ambronay European Baroque Academy is part of the eeemerging programme.

Production  - Coproduction   With the support of

Last update Wednesday 29 January 2020
22nd Ambronay European Baroque AcademyPaul Agnew © Philippe Delval

The 22nd Ambronay European Baroque Academy cast :

Kerstin Dietl, Aurora Peña, Deborah Cachet sopranos
Alberto Miguélez-Rouco, Jonas Descotte, Clément Debieuvre countertenors
Etienne Duhil de Bénazé tenor
Jean-Christophe Lanièce, Renaud Bres baritones-basses

Kinga Ujszaszi violin & Jadran Duncumb theorbo (Ensemble Repicco)
Alice Earll, Isabel Sotera Valenti, Ida Meidell Blylod, Lee Han Sol violins
Alba Encinas violin-viola
Scattolin Zeno, Leonova Sevastyana violas
Mathias Ferre viola da gamba-violone
Katharina Litschig bass violin
Inés Moreno Uncilla harpsichord

Paul Agnew

Ténor & direction

En tournée

8/07 : Collegio Ghislieri à Pavie (Italy)
10/07 : Festival Seviqc Brezice (Slovenia)
12/07 : Amuz à Anvers (Belgium)
13/07 : Festival de Sarrebourg (France)
15/07 : Castell Peralada (Spain)
17/07 : Estival de la Bâtie, La Bâtie d'Urfé - Saint Galmier (France)
19/07 : Festival de Saintes (France)
21/07 : Labeaume en musique (France)
22/07 : Les Musicales du Lubéron, Lacoste (France)
24/07 : Centre culturel Belém à Lisbonne (Portugal)
25/07 : Hôtel de Ville de Genève (Switzerland)

Centre culturel de rencontre
Place de l'Abbaye
01500 Ambronay

04 74 38 74 00