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Founded fifty years ago and directed by Joël Suhubiette for the last twenty years, the Ensemble Jacques Moderne - composed of a vocal and instrumental ensemble and enriched by musicological research - performs two centuries of ancient European music, from Renaissance polyphony to Baroque vocal music.


Marc-Antoine Charpentier
New composition by Patrick Burgan on a poem by Louise Labé.
Ensemble Jacques Moderne | 13 singers
9 instrumentists | 2 violins, 2 flutes, 2 viols, 1 bass de viol, 1 theorbe, 1 harpsichord
Conductor | Joël Suhubiette
Published 09/02/2024

If Marc-Antoine Charpentier's official roles led him more towards religious music, the composer was nevertheless often tempted by opera. Throughout his career, his interest in stage music remained evident: he composed interludes for Molière's plays, pastorals like Actéon, musical idylls such as Les arts florissants, divertissements, and Air sérieux et à boire.

During his stay in Rome in 1660, he had the opportunity to immerse himself in the repertoire of Italian opera, an influence that undoubtedly prompted him to write this chamber opera around the myth of Orpheus in 1686.

The opera unfolds in two acts. The first one introduces a bucolic scene in which Eurydice, surrounded by her companions, is fatally wounded by the serpent. It is followed by another scene in which Apollo encourages Orpheus to descend into the underworld. The second act relates the stay in the underworld and how Orpheus will charm Pluto, convincing him to let Eurydice return to earth. Charpentier's work concludes with Orpheus's return to the world of the living, accompanied by a "Light Sarabande" illustrating the ghosts' lament, saddened to see Orpheus leave.

Joël Suhubiette and the Ensemble Jacques Moderne are pleased to present this chamber opera perfectly suited to their ensemble with 13 singers and 9 instrumentalists, in collaboration with Concerto Soave and Jean-Marc Aymes.

As an interlude, the Ensemble Jacques Moderne will perform a contemporary work composed by Patrick Burgan on a poem by Louise Labé, whose 500th birthday will be commemorated in 2024.

In collaboration with Concerto Soave.

Visual : ©Basile Pellé


Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643-1704)
La descente d'Orphée aux Enfers
New composition by Patrick Burgan on a poem by
Louise Labé (c.1524-1566)