Anne Robinson, Karen Saxby
For any enthusiast of Baroque music, the production of Lully's Armide at the Theatre des Champs Elysées, directed by William Christie and staged by Robert Carsen, was an exceptional event. The last and most successful collaboration between Lully and his librettist Quinault, Armide is the ideal of the genre as desired by Louis XIV: a tragic opera that achieves the perfect fusion of music, song and dance. William Christie leads the orchestra and chorus of Les Arts Florissants and a dazzling cast. Stephanie D Oustrac is the imperious sorceress Armida, overcome by the violence of a forbidden passion. The bewitching choreography is by Jean-Claude Gallotta. Almost 25 years ago William Christie and Les Arts Florissants gave a performance of Lully's Atys in what was a watershed for the Early Music movement. We have Christie and his groundbreaking colleagues to thank for the fact that in 2008, Robert Carsen's new production of Armide at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées - conducted by Christie - was one of the hottest tickets in town. Atys has recently been revived at the Opéra Comique using singers from Christie's 'Jardin des Voix'