Henry Purcell's King Arthur

Filmed at the Opéra National de Montpellier in March 2009
Coproduction Telmondis and Le Concert Spirituel
With the participation of France Télévisions et Calicot Productions, and the support of Région Languedoc Roussillon, de la Fondation BNP Paribas and Centre National de la Cinématographie

Film director: Olivier Simonnet

Release 5 November 2009

To buy

Who said anything about getting bored at the opera? Certainly not Shirley and Dino who, with the help of conductor Hervé Niquet, mischievously reread Le Roi Arthur. "She's a rock star," they say. Poetic, their vision of Purcell's masterpiece is a nod to the Monty Python, Kamelott, music hall and Elizabethan theatre. That's the baroque we're enjoying.

Corinne et Gilles Benizio, stage director
Hervé Niquet, conductor
Catherine Rigault, costumes
Jacques Rouveyrollis, light designs

Ana Maria Labin, dessus
Chantal Santon-Jeffery, dessus aussi
Mélodie Ruvio, bas-dessus
Mathias Vidal, haute-contre (vents et marées)
Marc Mauillon, taille
Joao Fernandes, basse (à poil dur) c'est lui le Roi Arthur !

Concert Spirituel's Choir and Orchestra

"When I decided to stage King Arthur with Le Concert Spirituel, I had to make a choice: the musical part of this work represents only one third of the original work. This is just a commentary spread throughout Dryden's play, which explains, if one reads the booklet, the little relationship existing between each painting of this King Arthur. I preferred to keep only Purcell's music and offer it to you in the form of entertainment interspersed with interludes to link the show.

Who could assure better than Corinne and Gilles Benizio (a.k.a. Shirley and Dino) the perilous role of directors and fantasists of this tailless opera in order to prove to you that Purcell's singers are close cousins of the Monty Python?
So I reinvented a story that works on the King Arthur's musical fragments alone. It is no longer a confrontation between Arthur the Breton and Oswald the Saxon to obtain Emmeline's hand, but episodes of Arthur's reign between battles and castles."

Hervé Niquet