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C. Colin de Blamont 1690 – 1760

The greek and roman festivities

6 July 2024 • 21h Notre-Dame Basilica

Since their creation in July 1723, the Greek and Roman Festivities have been met with success. Firstly, because the format of the “ballet”, which involves narrating a different plot with each entry, is popular. Secondly, because the librettist breaks free from myths to draw inspiration from History: thus, Alcibiades distinguishes himself at the Olympic Games, Marc Antony and Cleopatra celebrate the Bacchanals, the Latin poet Tibullus courts his dear Delia during the Saturnalia.

The music is rooted in Lully’s legacy, but far from limiting itself to imitation, Blamont introduces some subtleties: orchestrated instrumental airs in trio, emphasis on solo parts dialoguing with certain singers… As written by Benoît Dratwicki, a specialist in the composer, “the music of the Greek and Roman Festivities belongs to a refined and harmonious style, but – ultimately – perhaps more cosmopolitan than one would initially believe.”

The work was revived, always with “great success”. Like many operas of that time, the Greek and Roman Festivities then fell into oblivion, known only to specialists.

Colin de Blamont deserves to be rediscovered for his effective and appealing style, as showcased by Valentin Tournet at the head of the Harmonic Chapel during the context of the Paris Olympic Games!


La Chapelle Harmonique / Conductor : Valentin Tournet

Hélène Carpentier - Clio, Timée - soprano (dessus)
Marie-Claude Chappuis - Erato, Cléopâtre - mezzo-soprano
Cécile Achille - Zélide, Plautine, Une Egyptienne, Une Bergère - soprano (dessus)
Jehanne Amzal - Aspasie, Délie - soprano (dessus)
David Witczak - Apollon, Alcibiade, Marc Antoine - baritone (bass-high)
Cyrille Dubois - Amintas, Eros, Tibule, a follower of Apollo - tenor (treble)

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