Le Poème Harmonique

Formed in 1998, Le Poème Harmonique is a group of soloists, gathered around artistic director Vincent Dumestre. Its artistic activity, centered on vocal and instrumental music of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries is regularly enriched by interaction with other disciplines – this being Le Poème Harmonique's hallmark in Baroque performance.
Actors, dancers, circus artists and puppeteers join its singers and musicians in programmes of chamber works – Le Ballet des Fées, Il Fasolo – and, since 2004, large-scale stage productions, such as Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme (a comédie-ballet by Molière and Lully; stage director Benjamin Lazar) and Baroque Carnival (directed by Cécile Roussat). For operatic performances, such as Lully's Cadmus et Hermione and Cavalli's Egisto (both staged by Benjamin Lazar), Le Poème Harmonique studies the relationship between 'period' and modern stage productions – use of candles for lighting, authentic gestures, painted sets and machinery. The ensemble returns to the sources of early French and Italian music by exploring its relationships with traditional music – the recording entitled Aux Marches du Palais is devoted to traditional French songs.
Whilst much of Le Poème Harmonique's activity takes place in the Haute-Normandie Region, the ensemble has presented numerous tours in Europe and appeared in most of the continent's capitals. Highlights of the past seasons include Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, Baroque Carnival and Cadmus et Hermione, all of which have been extremely successful, with almost 130 performances. The ensemble's recent stage projects have included the first performances of Pagliardi's Caligula, in September 2011 at the International Puppet Festival in Charleville-Mézières, and of Cavalli's Egisto, in February 2012 at the Opéra-Comique in Paris and subsequently at the Opéra de Rouen Haute-Normandie. In 2013-2014 Le Poème Harmonique presented Purcell's Dido and Æneas at l'Opéra de Rouen as part of its residency at the venue.

The ensemble's recordings for the Alpha label have met with rare public success: Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles Cros, the Diapason d'Or, recommendations from Opéra International, Classica, Le Monde de la Musique, a Prelude Classical Award in 2003, the Antonio Vivaldi International Award (Cini Foundation, Venice), the Caecilia Press Prize, and so on.

January 2015