Arts-Scène Diffusion

Il Festino


photo Il Festino
photo Arnaud Roberti
photo Arnaud Roberti

Il Festino


[...] This is why music is an imitation or representation, just as much as poetry, tragedy or painting, for it does with sounds or the singing voice what the poet does with verse, the actor with gestures and the painter with light, shade and colours. Marin Mersenne, Harmonie Universelle, 1636

To please the senses and elevate the mind through poetry, gesture and music. That, in a few words, is the aim of this ensemble.

Directed by the lutenist Manuel de Grange, the group is faithful to the 17th century’s aesthetic and rules of declamation, applicable not only to singing and recitation, but also to instrumental music, played on period instruments. The ensemble attempts to bring together poetry and songs of the same period, in such a way that they mirror one another, creating a unique experience for the audience. The listener is transported into the company of the men and women of a bygone age who, using refined techniques but sometimes also drawing on and transforming elements from popular music, expressed their passions, joys and sorrows, and their fondness for the pleasures that have always been with us. 

Since it was founded in 2009, Il Festino has appeared at major festivals in France and elsewhere (Pontoise Baroque Festival, Lanvellec, Haut-Jura Festival, Namur Music Festival, Saint-Michel-en-Thiérache, the Festival Musique et Mémoire, the Midis-Minimes Festival,…) and on renowned ‘national stages’ (Théâtre de Cornouaille, Le Quartz, La Passerelle, L’ARC de Rezé…).

The ensemble’s first CD, featuring airs in Italian from the time of Louis XIII, came out in May 2012, to an enthusiastic reception from the specialist media, in particular receiving five diapasons from the highly respected magazine Diapason. In March 2015 Il Festino released a second CD devoted to solo arias by Stefano Landi that also received five diapasons in June 2015. 2017 saw the release of the ensemble’s third CD, featuring airs by Michel Lambert and Sébastien Le Camus.

Il Festino is supported by the Région Bretagne, the Regional Deparment of Cultural Affairs (DRAC) for Brittany, the French Institute, the SPEDIDAM, the French Society for the Administration of the Rights of Artists and Performing Musicians (ADAMI) and the FCM.

August 2017

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