6 May 2017 (Sat) 8 ‑ 10pm (2 hours)
10 Salisbury Road, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon
$580 / $460 / $340 / $240
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Daucé has intelligently reworked incomplete sketches made 40 years after the work’s performance, interpolating some passages from Francesco Cavalli and others, all sung and played with tremendous verve by the suave singers and players of the Ensemble Correspondances. – The Guardian

A modern re-construction of a lost masterpiece – A mixed media live concert rediscovering the Sun King’s first ballet

At the age of 15, His Majesty Louis XIV – France’s Louis the Great or Sun King (1638–1715) – danced to this magnificent piece in the Salle du Petit-Bourbon at Paris’ Louvre Palace. Based on the idea of a ballet within a ballet, the event lasted for 12 hours. Through five ‘dreams,’ the whole universe of the night is rolled out until dawn, before announcing the unequalled glimmer of the Sun King.

The best artists at the time from France and Italy were commissioned by Cardinal-Duke Mazarin (only recently appointed Louis’ Chief Minister) to create a unique piece to glorify young Louis’ transformation into ‘Sun King’ and in boasting of the superior status of the French Monarchy, the event acted as a political statement. With this ‘Concert’ the dazzling artistic cultural policy of the “century of Louis XIV” was launched.

The première was such a success that seven repeat performances had to be given and its reputation was firmly engraved in popular memory during Louis XIV’s entire 72-year reign. However, the score was only partly transcribed and then only 50 years later by the King’s librarian, who left the largest part of the ballet’s music unknown to future generations. Now, nearly 400 years later, the music has been rediscovered by Ensemble Correspondances’ artistic director and conductor Sébastien Daucé, who has re-constructed the piece after three years of research and reconstruction. The ballet’s modern revival was widely celebrated in 2015 at the Festival de Saintes / Royal Opera of Versailles when the ‘lost’ ballet was first brought back to life.

Especially for Le French May Arts Festival, Daucé has commissioned French video artist Etienne Guiol to create a light projection based on the iconography of costumes, marquetry from the 17th century and today, enabling us to travel back in time to one of the most marvellous spectacles of King Louis XIV’s reign.


Jean de Cambefort (c. 1605–1661)
Antoine Boesset (1587–1643)
Louis Constantin (1585–1657)
Michel Lambert (1610–1696)
Francesco Cavalli (1602–1676)
Luigi Rossi (1597–1653)

Ensembles Correspondances
Sébastien Daucé musical reconstruction & direction
Etienne Guiol motion graphic

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