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Mondonville: The Carnival of Parnassus


Opera in concert version
  • Friday March 10th 2023
  • Royal Opera
  • 8pm | 2h30 with intermission
Accueil Mondonville: The Carnival of Parnassus 2023


Gwendoline Blondeel Florine, Thalie

Hélène Guilmette Lycoris

Mathias Vidal A Shepherd, Apollo

David Witczak Momus

Hasnaa Bennani Clarice, Euterpe, a Follower of Terpsichore, an Old Woman

Adrien Fournaison Dorante, a follower of Euterpe

Chœur de Chambre de Namur

Les Ambassadeurs ~ La Grande Ecurie

Alexis Kossenko Conductor



Celebration of Louis XV


In 1749, Mondonville still had everything to prove: his career, launched a few years earlier, had already made him a potential rival to Rameau. This new heroic ballet was only his second lyrical piece, but what a triumph, the most dazzling of his entire career! Here he is, surpassing everything in his path, with over thirty-five consecutive performances and revivals spanning four decades! The festivities and entertainments of a Carnival taking place on Parnassus, where various gods frolic, form the whimsical storyline of this work: “This piece is of a singular genius and does not resemble anything that has appeared on the lyrical stage […] if the author has fulfilled the intention he had set for himself to depict the amusements and conversations of Carnival, there is little to reproach him for.” (Mercure de France). Dedicated to the Marquise de Pompadour, muse of the Arts and all-powerful favorite of the King, this Carnival is nothing but playfulness and excessive gallantry, as it should be…

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Summoning the character of Folly in imitation of Rameau’s Platée, created in Paris the same year, the composer unleashes his creativity, displaying impressive virtuosity everywhere, summoning unheard-of orchestral colors, imagining unrestrained dances, and grand choral scenes comparable to those of his grand motets. Here is an exceptional work that Alexis Kossenko will have the pleasure to conduct on record and in concert, for this true reincarnation of the splendors of the court of Louis XV, then at its peak…

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Ballet héroïque in a prologue and three acts to a libretto by Jean-Louis Fuzelier, premiered at the Académie royale de musique in Paris in 1749 and dedicated to Madame la Marquise de Pompadour.

The Royal Opera of the Château de Versailles

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And also…

CD Mondonville: The Carnival of Parnassus

Intended for the Marquise de Pompadour, this whimsical ballet héroïque features a colorful marivaudage in which Apollo and his Muses dance on Mount Parnassus. Alexis Kossenko brilliantly recreates the splendor of Louis XV’s court and Mondonville’s prodigious virtuosity.
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