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Opening Night: The Fairy Queen

Thu Jul 11 - 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm EDT

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Koerner Hall, Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON, Canada

Purcell: The Fairy Queen

William Christie, Musical Direction and Co-Director of the Académie du Jardin des Voix
Paul Agnew, Co-Director of the Académie du Jardin des Voix
Mourad Merzouki, Stage Direction and Choreography
Rémi Autechaud, Assistant Choreographer
Claire Schirck, Costumes
Fabrice Sarcy, Lighting
Sophie Daneman, Language Advisor

Orchestre des Arts Florissants
Dancers of Compagnie Käfig 

Paulina Francisco, soprano 
Georgia Burashko, mezzo-soprano 
Rebecca Leggett, mezzo-soprano 
Juliette Mey, mezzo-soprano 
Ilja Aksionov, tenor 
Rodrigo Carreto, tenor 
Hugo Herman-Wilson, baritone 
Benjamin Schilperoort, bass-baritone 

A new production of Purcell’s masterpiece, this Fairy Queen brings together arts, cultures and generations… for a unique experience! In an enchanted forest, reality mingles with dreams, illusion and the supernatural, as young people gather to escape the city and indulge in the magic of nature. Little by little, as the tunes and dances unfold, the boundaries between dancers, singers and musicians become blurred… leading to the creation of an egalitarian and fraternal community, united by the joy of music. Freely inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Fairy Queen invites us to plunge into an enchanting and playful universe, which continues to amaze us more than 300 years after its creation. First performed in London in 1692, just three years before Purcell’s untimely death at the age of 35, this “masque” (or semi-opera) is the work of a young prodigy. It includes some of the most beautiful arias he ever compos” and the lively “Thrice happy lovers”-in which his art of counterpoint and sense of theatricality come to the fore.  

It is precisely this brilliance, this energy and this youthfulness that this new production invites us to see and hear. Conducted by William Christie and Paul Agnew, alongside choreographer Mourad Merzouki-who makes his operatic directorial debut – this Fairy Queen is an opportunity to discover the latest laureates of Le Jardin des Voix, Les Arts Florissants’ academy for young singers. These eight soloists, selected from all over the world and already the focus of attention on the Baroque planet, take turns embodying all the characters in this joyous fable, alongside contemporary dancers from the Compagnie Käfig and musicians from the Les Arts Florissants orchestra. 

Join us for a champagne reception for the entire audience after the concert!