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William Christie and Les Arts Florissants propel this exuberant production of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s second opera to great heights. Andrei Serban’s extravagant, highly baroque staging presents the four exotic love stories in a fantastic operatic spectacle. In Le Turc généreux Osman sets free his captive, Emilie, whom he loves, so that she may be reunited with her former lover, Valère; Les Incas de Perou is all about the rivalry of the Inca Huascar and the Spaniard Don Carlos, both in pursuit of Princess Phani; Les Fleurs offers a Persian love intrigue, as the Sultana Fatima tries to detect whether her husband Tacmas has his eye on the lovely Atalide; and Les Sauvages takes us to North America, where a Spaniard and a Frenchman compete for the love of Zima, daughter of a native chief, who prefers one of her own people.

Valérie Gabail, Nicolas Rivenq, Paul Agnew, Patricia Petibon, Nicolas Cavallier, Jaël Azzaretti, Anna Maria Panzarella
Les Arts Florissants / William Christie
Stage Director Andrei Serban
TV Director Thomas Grimm


Swinging Rameau – A 50-minute documentary analysis featuring interviews with William Christie, Nicolas Rivenq, Blanca Li, Andrei Serban, Paul Agnew, Patricia Petibon
On-screen biographies - William Christie & Les Arts Florissants
Illustrated Synopsis & Cast Gallery

‘A sparkling Baroque opera… a vibrant and spectacular work on a grand scale…’

‘William Christie has long been collaborating with iconoclastic directors to bring French Baroque to life on the stage, and Andrei Serban’s Paris production of Rameau’s fast and furious four-parter oozes Gallic wit and elegance. It’s all captured with extravagant brilliance on this hugely entertaining DVD, with Christie’s customary attention to detail and dramatic pace.’
The Independent

‘Rameau’s delightful invention is like a spring day, and the wonderful combination of Les Arts Florissants and William Christie bestow the music with an irresistible elegance. The Paris National Opera staging from 2003 is superb in its colour and spectacle.’
What's On

‘Les Indes Galantes was a runaway success, with some 320 performances betwen 1735 and 1773. The music is magnificent, but it is only part of the reason for this popularity. It is a feast for the eyes as well as the ears, with imaginative choreography throughout. There are also exotic sets and costumes and spectacular stage effects. The opera's mythological prologue and four geographically scattered episodes show love overcoming obstacles among the gods on Olympus (Bellona, the goddess of war, is wittily cast as a bass baritone in drag) and among humans in Turkey, Peru, Persia and the wilderness of North America. Among the stage effects is a quaintly baroque volcanic eruption. Still, the vocal and orchestral music (particularly dance music) is what has kept this work alive, and it is superbly performed by Les Arts Florissants under the direction of William Christie.’

‘William Christie and Les Arts Florissants propel this highly exuberant production of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s second opera-ballet to great heights. … With superb extravagant costumes and sets it is a memorable production with glorious singing. … It isn’t often that you see opera singers lifted up as though they were ballet dancers and then singing - this is a magical production. Look out for the flower pot men and women who dance on disc two and the encore is a hoot! This is great entertainment throughout.’
Audience Today

‘…a frivolous extravaganza that was a wild success at the box office, with exotic scenery (Mount Olympus, Turkey, Peru, Persia and the North American wilderness), a lot of dancing and even a volcanic eruption. …superbly performed…’
Washington Post

‘The whole thing fairly fizzes along. The show is underpinned by superb playing from William Christie and Les Arts Florissants. … Serban’s production is exhilarating, fantastical and visually inventive - a storm at sea leading to a shipwreck, is simply but brilliantly staged, there are dancing flowerpots, dancing bison, even acrobats. …there are winning performances from most of the large cast. The camera direction is unobtrusive and exemplary. Under Christie, Rameau’s score … contains more magic than Harry Potter.’
Opera Now

Awards & Accolades:
Winner Midem Classical Award 2006 (Opera/Ballet)

CAT NO: OA 0923 D
FORMAT: All Formats
REGIONS: All Regions
RELEASED: 01/07/2005

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