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The Sunday Opera: Four One-Act French Baroque Operas from the Boston Early Music Festival

Michel-Richard de Lalande on the left and Marc-Antoine Charpentier on the right.

We have a second outing to Boston and the Boston Early Music Festival on this week’s Sunday Opera (8/21 3:00 p.m.). This time, it’s four one-act French Baroque operas, two by Michel-Richard de Lalande and two by Marc-Antoine Charpentier.

The first and third works by de Lalande are “Les Fontaines de Versailles” (“The Fountains of Versailles”) which features a collection of Greek gods declaiming the greatness of the king, and “Le Concert d’Esculape” (“the Aesculapian Concert”) which praises medicine in a piece dedicated to the Greco-Roman god Aesculapius.

Charpentier’s contributions include the second opera of the afternoon, another work glorifying Versailles and the king in “Les Plaisirs de Versailles” (“The Pleasures of Versailles”) and a hymn to the glory of the arts, “Les Arts Florissants” (“The Flourishing Arts.”)

After the operas, in the time left, we’ll turn the evening over to Sergei Prokofiev for a bit of a change and his last major work, his Symphony No. 7 in C sharp minor, and delightful piece that Prokofiev claimed was written for children. The performance by the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra features an alternative ending not usually performed. The conductor is Andrew Litton.

Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.
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