Le Ballet Royal de la Nuit, performed by the Ensemble Correspondances and Sébastien Daucé

The Ensemble Correspondances performs the Ballet Royal de la Nuit, conducted by Sébastien Daucé and directed by Francesca Lattuada, with Violaine Le Chenadec, Caroline Weynants… Recorded on 9 November 2017 at the Théâtre de Caen.

Théatre de Caen

It was in part due to the Ballet Royal de la Nuit that Louis XIV came to be known as the Roi Soleil (The Sun King). With the collective civil wars known as the Fronde still fresh in the collective memory, the cardinal Mazarin commissioned a ballet with the aim of displaying the young king's true power, then only 15 years old. For this, he would therefore take on the role of Apollo. 

Written by various composers, the work blends musical influences from Italy and France (Jean de Cambefort, Antoine Boësset, Louis Constantin, Michel Lambert, Francesco Cavalli, Luigi Rossi), with a text written by the writer and poet Isaac de Benserade.

The work was never again performed after its first performance in 1653. Director of the Ensemble Correspondances, Sébastien Daucé therefore decided to recreate the ballet after being seduced upon hearing its first air. There remained, however, only the first violin score, the other orchestral voices having been completely lost. The idea was therefore to "respect" the score, to "complete" it and not "transform" it.

The current stage production is somewhat different from the original version, highlighting the text's fairytale and enchanting aspects.