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The Festival International d’Opéra Baroque et Romantique de Beaune

Festival d’Opéra Baroque de Beaune

Who we are

Welcome to the saga of the Beaune International Baroque and Romantic Opera Festival, a story that began in 1983, driven by the passion of Anne Blanchard and Kader Hassissi and the desire to rediscover the baroque operatic repertoire with the authenticity of period instruments.

For over 40 years, the Beaune Opera Festival has firmly established itself as a major cultural institution, showcasing the masterpieces of the Baroque and Romantic repertoire in iconic venues such as the Hospices Civils and Notre Dame Basilica, in the heart of Burgundy.

Since its inception, the Festival has programmed some one hundred baroque operas, oratorio concerts, recitals and symphony concerts. With its focus on European baroque opera, it has made an artistic contribution to the revival of major works by composers such as Handel, Jommelli, Porpora, Traetta, Cavalli, Rameau, Destouches, Marin Marais and many others.

Every year, this eagerly-awaited event becomes the stage for memorable evenings, bringing together both world-renowned conductors and up-and-coming young talents, both conductors and voices. It’s on this special stage that timeless melodies rediscover their original brilliance.

These magical moments attract music lovers and open the doors to an increasingly diverse audience. The enthusiasm and loyalty of the public have propelled the festival to the rank of a not-to-be-missed, recognised and honoured event, now occupying a privileged place in the world of opera.

L’histoire du Festival d’Opéra Baroque de Beaune

1. A commitment to young talents:

Since 1983, the Beaune Baroque Opera Festival has innovatively engaged in the rediscovery of the baroque operatic repertoire with period instruments.

Focused on excellence in productions, recreation, and the dissemination of unpublished works, the festival adopts an inclusive approach by inviting renowned conductors and young talents. It also identifies promising voices through auditions in France and Europe. By promoting production and co-production with a European distribution network, the festival records over 20 events, thereby contributing to the “baroque movement revolution” and expanding its impact on a new audience in France and Europe. Considered the European lyric festival for the baroque repertoire, it has been dubbed the “Salzburg of Baroque” by Diapason magazine.

By providing young talented conductors (Christophe Rousset, Paul McCreesh, Rinaldo Alessandrini, Fabio Biondi, Ottavio Dantone, Emmanuelle Haïm, Jérémie Rhorer, Raphaël Pichon, …) the opportunity to conduct their first operas as part of a three-year residency, the Festival, under the initiative of Anne Blanchard, has significantly contributed to their promotion and recognition. At the same time, the Festival has revealed numerous young voices that now sing on the biggest European stages: among the most notable are Sara Mingardo, Laura Polverelli, Andreas Scholl, Brian Asawa, Annick Massis, Véronique Gens, Raffaella Milanesi, Renata Pokupic, Ann Hallenberg, Teodora Gheorghiu, Lawrence Zazzo, David DQ Lee, Christophe Dumaux, Sandrine Piau, Cyril Auvity, Gaëlle Arquez, Marita Solberg, Andreas Wolf, Delphine Galou, Max Emmanuel Cencic, Malin Hartelius, Luigi De Donato, Karina Gauvin…

2. European baroque repertoire:

By emphasizing European baroque opera, particularly Italian opera seria from the 17th and 18th centuries, the Festival has greatly contributed to the revival of operas and oratorios by Handel in France and revealed missing links in the history of music.

It has notably brought to life operas such as: Handel’s Partenope (2005, Dir. Antonio Florio), Alessandro (2010, Dir. Eduardo Lopez-Banzo), Agrippina (2012), Orlando (2013, Dir. René Jacobs), Teseo (2014, Dir. Federico Maria Sardelli), and Ottone (2017 Dir. George Petrou; Jommelli’s Semiramide (2011, Dir. Stefano Montanari) and Il Trionfo della Divina Giustizia (2015, dir. Thibault Noally); Traetta’s I Strali d’Amore (2001, Dir. Gabriel Garrido), Conti’s Don Quichotte (2005, dir. René Jacobs; Vivaldi’s La Senna Festeggiante (2001), L’Olimpiade (2002), Dir. Rinaldo Alessandrini, Tito Manlio (2006, Dir. Ottavio Dantone), Orlando Furioso (2011, Dir. Jean-Christophe Spinosi), Orlando version 1714 (2012, Dir. Federico Maria Sardelli), L’Incoronazione di Dario (2013, Dir. Ottavio Dantone), Tamerlano (2016, Dir. Thibault Noally); Pergolesi’s L’Olimpiade (2003), Il Flaminio (2004), and Adriano in Siria (2008) Dir. Ottavio Dantone, Septem Verba (2012, Dir. René Jacobs). The Festival has contributed to the rediscovery of rare French lyrical tragedies by Lully: Persée (2001, Dir. Christophe Rousset), Bellérophon (2010, Dir. Christophe Rousset), Phaëton (2012, Dir. Christophe Rousset), Amadis (2013), Armide (2015), and Alceste (2017, Dir. Christophe Rousset); Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie (1997, Dir. Marc Minkowski and the 1757 version in 2012, Dir. Raphaël Pichon), Zoroastre (1998, Dir. William Christie) and (2016 dir. Raphaël Pichon), Pygmalion (2010, Dir. William Christie), Dardanus version 1744 (2011, Dir. Raphaël Pichon), Zaïs (2014, Dir. Christophe Rousset); Destouches’s Callirhoé (2005) and Marin Marais’s Sémélé (2006) directed by Hervé Niquet.

3. Historical collaboration:

The festival has established a privileged collaboration with William Christie and his Arts Florissants since 1985, allowing for the presentation of masterpieces such as Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas coupled with Charpentier’s Actéon (1988), Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis (1995), Handel’s Acis and Galatea (1996), Alcina (1999, with the Paris National Opera), L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (2001), and Hercules (2004, with the Aix-en-Provence Festival), Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 (1997) and The Return of Ulysses to his Homeland (2000), Rameau’s Zoroastre (1998), and Haydn’s oratorios The Seasons (2003), The Creation (2007), Pygmalion, and Anacreon (2010), Rameau and Mondonville’s Grand Motets (2015), Bach’s Cantatas (in 2016), and Charpentier’s Grand Motets and Oratorios (2017).

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