Armida Antonio Salieri (1750 - 1825)
A keen advocate of the works of Antonio Salieri (1750-1825), Christophe Rousset continues his exploration of the composers operas, having unearthed the manuscript of another masterpiece. In the form in which it was first performed in Vienna on 2 June 1771, Armida presents a perfect synthesis of the Italian and French styles. Salieri was just twenty years old when he first turned to the composition of an opera seria. He chose to tackle a well-known subject, that of the love between Rinaldo and Armida, borrowed from the epic poem by Torquato Tasso, Gerusalemme liberata, first published in Venice in 1580. The three-act libretto was written by Marco Coltellini (1719-1777), who provided librettos for Gluck, Hasse, Traetta and others. A very dense plot focuses on the intense drama involving just four characters (Armida, Ismene, Ronaldo and Ubaldo). The confrontation between West and East – the Christian Crusader and a Saracen sorceress – found an immediate echo in Vienna, which had in the past been besieged by the Ottomans. The opera was an instant success. With his Armida, Antonio Salieri prefigured Gluck and his Armide of 1777. The plasticity of his composition, the originality and brio he shows in this avant-garde style, were to ensure his lasting reputation and earn him, later on, his first commission from the Académie Royale de Musique in Paris, for which he was to compose three operas to French librettos, Les Danaïdes (1784), Les Horaces (1786) and Tarare (1787), all of which Les Talens Lyriques have recorded in recent years.
Cultural actions
The ensemble’s residencies in secondary schools are part of a long-term, multi-disciplinary project that is not only original, but also ambitious: commented rehearsals, encounters and musical practice are perfect ways to discover music, singing, dance…
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The ensemble Les Talens Lyriques
which takes its name from the subtitle of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s opera Les Fêtes d’Hébé (1739) was formed in 1991 by the harpsichordist and conductor Christophe Rousset.

Championing a broad vocal and instrumental repertoire, ranging from early Baroque to the beginnings of Romanticism, the musicians of Les Talens Lyriques aim to throw light on the great masterpieces of musical history, while providing perspective by presenting rarer or little known works that are important as missing links in the European musical heritage. This musicological and editorial work, which contributes to its renown, is a priority for the ensemble.