Les Talens Lyriques
The vocal and instrumental ensemble Les Talens Lyriques takes its name from an opera ballet by Rameau, Les Fêtes d’Hébé ou Les Talens Lyriques (1739). It was formed in 1991 by the harpsichordist and conductor Christophe Rousset.
The operatic and instrumental repertoire the ensemble champions includes music of the Baroque and early Romantic periods – the great masterpieces, of course, but also important lesser-known works, for which they carry out the musicological research themselves.
Les Talens Lyriques have emerged over the past two decades as one of the most sought after French ensembles on stages around the world. Varying in size according to the requirement of the repertoire, the ensemble brings together instrumentalists and singers, seasoned professionals and musicians at the beginning of their career, all of them sharing the pleasures of discovering and performing forgotten or neglected works of the Baroque and Classical periods.
The ensemble’s operatic repertoire includes works by Monteverdi (L’Incoronazione di Poppea, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria), Cavalli (La Didone, La Calisto), Handel (Scipione, Riccardo Primo, Rinaldo, Admeto, Giulio Cesare, Serse, Arianna, Tamerlano, Ariodante, Semele), Lully (Persée, Roland, Bellérophon), Desmarest (Vénus et Adonis), Mondonville (Les Fêtes de Paphos), Cimarosa (Il Mercato di Malmantile, Il Matrimonio Segreto), Traetta (Antigona, Ippolito ed Aricia), Jommelli (Armida abbandonata), Martin y Soler (La Capricciosa Corretta, Il Tutore burlato), Mozart (Mitridate, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Così fan tutte), Salieri (La Grotta di Trofonio), Rameau (Zoroastre, Castor et Pollux), Gluck (Bauci e Filemone), Beethoven (Fidelio), and Cherubini (Médée), Garcia (Il Califfo di Bagdad), Berlioz, Massenet, Saint-Saëns and others.
These are revived in close collaboration with stage directors such as Pierre Audi, Jean-Marie Villégier, David McVicar, Eric Vigner, Ludovic Lagarde, Mariame Clément, Jean-Pierre Vincent, Laura Scozzi, Marcial di Fonzo Bo, Claus Guth, and others.
The ensemble also explores other genres: motet, chamber music, madrigal, cantata, airs de cour, symphonies and sacred works (such as Tenebrae and Masses).
Les Talens Lyriques have made forty or so acclaimed recordings (for Erato, Fnac Music, Auvidis, Decca, Naïve, Ambroisie and Virgin Classics, and henceforth for the Aparté label). In 2001 the ensemble was awarded a Victoire de la Musique Classique. In 1994 it recorded the acclaimed soundtrack for the film by Gérard Corbiau, Farinelli.
Since 2007 Les Talens Lyriques have helped to make young people aware of the Baroque repertoire, through residencies and workshops at schools in Paris.
Les Talens Lyriques are supported by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication and the City of Paris. They also receive support from The Annenberg Foundation GRoW – Gregory et Regina Annenberg Weingarten, the Primonial Group and the Cercle des Mécènes.
Les Talens Lyriques are members of FEVIS (Fédération des Ensembles Vocaux et Instrumentaux Spécialisés) and PROFEDIM (Syndicat Professionnel des Producteurs, Festivals, Ensembles, Diffuseurs Indépendants de Musique).