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"Dans les jardins de William Christie - Les Arts Florissants" Festival

Posted the 3 August 2022
Concerts & Events

From 20 to 27 August 2022, William Christie's Dans les Jardins festival returns for its 11th edition. The Department of the Vendée and Les Arts Florissants invite you to a unique experience, combining the discovery of gardens and baroque music. Several musical encounters are presented in the idyllic setting of the William Christie site in Thiré. In parallel, workshops and musical walks are offered to the public. This year, Mozart is in the spotlight, as is Molière, for the celebration of his 400th birthday. Music and garden lovers beware!


For the past 30 years, the conductor William Christie has devoted himself, in parallel with his international career, to a passionate project: the creation of an elegant garden surrounding a late 16th century manor house in the village of Thiré. He carried out the restoration work himself.Year after year, from grove to grove, William Christie has created and extended an extraordinary garden,  which is today acclaimed by leading specialists and since 2006 listed as a regional heritage site in the “Inventaire supplémentaire des Monuments historiques Francais” (French Supplementary List of Historic monuments).

From 20th to 27th August 2022, William Christie, the internationally renowned Franco-American harpsichordist, and conductor, invites the public on a unique and exclusive journey through a “jardin remarquable” (Recognised as a “remarkable garden” since 2004. This label was created by the French Ministry of Culture with the help of the Conseil national des parcs et jardins in 2004. Its aim is to recognise and promote well maintained parks and gardens that are open to the public).

The musical encounters proposed during this festival brings together artists from the Juilliard School of New York, singers from the Jardin des Voix, as well as singers and instrumentalists from Les Arts Florissants.

The « candlelight concerts » will be performed in the gardens rather than in the church. As for the “meditation concerts” they will be available in digital format on Les Arts Florissants and Départements de la Vendée’s social networks. These concerts will be open to everyone, wherever they are, so that they can spend the evening with music.

In addition, various workshops are held before and during the festival

Programmation du Festival dans les jardins de William Christie 2022

Main evening concerts – Dans les Jardins de William Christie festival

Mozart’s arias and symphonies - 20th & 21st August 2022 at 8pm.

  • Venue : Miroir d’eau – Jardins de William Christie
  • Conducted by : Paul Agnew, Eva Zaîcik, Les Arts Florissants Orchestra and Juilliard School of New York

“To open this 11th edition of the William Christie Garden Festival, Paul Agnew offers a programme devoted to the most famous of all Baroque composers: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Although the British tenor and conductor has become famous for his interpretations of Monteverdi, Bach, and Purcell, this is only the second time (following La Finta giardiniera in 2019) that he will conduct Mozart when he leads Les Arts Florissants.  For this special occasion, he assembles Mozart’s symphonies and arias in a programme tailor-made for an exceptional performer: mezzo-saprano Eva Zaïcik, laureate of the Jardin des Voix(the Les Arts Florissants academy for young singers) introduced to the public during the festival in 2017."

Candlelight concerts – Generations – 21st August 2022 at 8.30 pm


  • Venue : Church of Thiré
  • With : Théotime Langlois de Swarte on violin, William Christie on harpsichord


« At the convergence of the Italian and French schools, Le clair and Senaillé, were to some extent the Paganini’s  of the French 18th century (Niccolò Paganini was a celebrated Italian violinist and composer).   Virtuoso and poetic, yet always superbly rhythmic and « suitable for dancing », their sonatas found two fervent defenders in the fingers of Théotime Langlois de Swarte (one of the most promising violinists of his generation. An eclectic violinist, his repertoire ranges from the 17th century to contemporary works) and William Christie. Across the generations, the great master of Barque music and the young violin prodigy combine their voices to help us rediscover these still unjustly little-known pages. A programme that has already been highly successful both in concert as well as a recording – (Les Arts Florissants collection, Harmonia Mundi), which festival goers will be able to re-live in the magnificent setting of the church at Thiré.”

Candlelight concerts – Recipes of love “Les Recettes de l’Amour” – 22nd August 2022 at 8.30 pm

  • Venue : Church of Thiré
  • With : Lea Desandre, mezzo-soprano, Thomas Dunford, Lut, William Christie harpsichord

« Some friendships surpass generations: this is the case of the human and musical complicity between William Christie with Lea Desandre and Thomas Dunford. Even if it was one of them who introduced the other two to the public, and despite that many years separate them, all three share the same taste for music, built on audacity, verve, imagination – and above all, passion.   This unusual programme invites us into the intimacy of a family of music and heart and reflects these three unique personalities. Ranging from Michel Lambert to Antoine Charpentier, these Recettes de l’amour (Recipes of Love). 

Candlelight concerts –Jephte – 24th & 25th August 2022 at 8.30 pm

  • Venue : Church of Thiré
  • With: Lauren Lodge-Campbell: soprano, Natasha Schnur: soprano, Blandine Sanson de Sansal: soprano, Alberto Miguélez Rouco: countertenor, Geoffroy Buffiere: bass, Edward Grint: bass

“Paul Agnew continues his exploration of the Italian Baroque repertoire by bringing together two oratorios in one evening, both based on the same biblical story: that of Jephthah. Before he attacked the Ammonites, Jephthah promised to offer to God, if he won, the first person who came to him on his return. Unfortunately, it was his only daughter. This biblical story has inspired many artists – in music, for example, Handeland Charpentier, but also Montéclair and Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre. On this occasion, the oratorio of Giacomo Carissimi, composed in the mid-17th century (whom Handel and Charpentier both knew) will be performed in conjunction with the later oratorio of Antonio Draghi. A little-known work that is representative of Viennese oratorio from the late 17th century. And to bring this moving story to life, Paul Agnew will sing alongside six remarkable soloists (including 3 laureates from the Jardin des Voix, Les Arts Florissant’s’ academy for young singers) and an intimate instrumental ensemble – as close to emotion as possible. “

Candlelight concerts – Consolations sacrées (Sacred Consolations – 17th century German music) – 26th August 2022 at 8.30 pm

  • Venue : Church of Thiré
  • Musical director: Robert Mealy, Natasha Schnur*, soprano Instrumental ensemble of Les Arts Florissants and the Juilliard School of New York

"The artists from the Juilliard School of New York are back at the festival! For this concert, Les Arts Florissants invites Robert Mealy, director of the Juilliard School’s early music department, to conduct young instrumentalists from this prestigious American institution (the largest music and dance conservatory in the United States) alongside Les Arts Florissants musicians. This programme, created as an exploration of 17th century German music, will feature pieces by Heinrich Schütz, Philip Heinrich Erlebach, Johann Casper Kerll, Dieterich Buxtehude, Johann Rosenmüller, Christian Ritter…. An evening of encounters, inspiration, and discovery! "

Molière and his music - 26th & 27th  August 2022 at 8pm

  • Venue : Miroir d'eau - William Christie Gardens
  • Musical direction : William Christie
  • Dramaturgy: Vincent Boussard
  • Choreography: Hubert Hazebroucq
  • Director: Marie Lambert-Le Bihan
  • With : Stéphane Facco, actor; Emmanuelle de Negri, soprano; Claire Debono, soprano; Cyril Auvity, countertenor; Marc Mauillon, baritone; Cyril Costanzo, bass; Dancers of Les Corps Éloquents company; Les Arts Florissants choir and orchestra

« Les Arts Florissants » pay tribute to Molière, for the 400th anniversary of his birth! Les Arts Florissants and William Christie, both passionate interpreters of the culture associated with the Grand Siècle, will be joining in the festivities by presenting an exclusive show combing music, dance and of course, theatre. A medley of Molière’s most beautiful “comédies-ballets” (these are a form of French drama that mixes a spoken play with interludes which contain music and dance).  While Jean-Baptiste Poquelin is recognised throughout the world as one of the greatest men of French literature, the role of music in his work remains largely underestimated – and sometimes even forgotten. A place that is nevertheless essential, as his collaborations with Lully and Charpentier demonstrate, and for which Les Arts Florissants and William Christie have been instrumental in its rediscovery since the 1980’s.

On this occasion, the tribute takes on the appearance of a modern show, both in spirit and in form: directed by William Christie, this pasticcio (an opera or musical works composed by different composers) invites the audience on a journey through Molière’s most famous works, as well as some lesser-known ones. The plot has been specially created for the show by the playwright Vincent Boussard. Together with the director Marie Lambert and choreographer Hubert Hazebroucq, they have created a stage production based on meticulous research to rediscover the essence of the performances given in Molière’s time.

A colourful show, like an invitation to rediscover the jubilant world of comedy-ballets, where the theatre’s best ally is…. Music !

Daily festival events in william christie’s gardens

Visit William Christie’s gardens

Open daily
2.45pm – William Christie’s gardens

William Christie garden specialists and enthusiasts will help you discover this “remarkable garden” (listed as a historical monument in 2006), during guided tours especially created for the festival. A way to appreciate the spirit of this fascinating and eclectic place, created entirely from scratch by the conductor …. and which promises new surprises every year.

Le Clos des Aubergines

Every afternoon – Maison de la Fontaine
This year, after the Clos des Tomates, the Clos des Salades and the Clos des Piments, botanist gardener Baptiste Pierre is introducing a new vegetable garden: the Clos des Aubergines (Egg plants) ! This educational garden will appeal to young and old alike, has free entry and offers interesting explanations and information.

Family workshops

Open daily (3pm)
Every afternoon, Les Arts Florissants artists offer Baroque music and dance “discovery” workshops, adapted to all age groups. This year, dancer Pierre-François Dollé invites the public on a tour through the village, based on the theme of “the enchanted island” and filled with many surprises …. Meanwhile, in the gardens, singer and director, Sophie Daneman will host an educational singing workshop dedicated to Molière, whose 400th birthday is being celebrated this year. Entertaining and lively experiences for the whole family!

Concerts in the Gardens  – Musical walks

Every afternoon (4 – 6.15pm)An emblematic event of the William Christie Garden Festival, these short concerts allow the audience to explore different parts of the gardens, and at the same time to discover musical repertoires or little-known pieces, selected by the performers themselves. Unforgettable experiences, in a unique context between the public and artists!

Concerts "Méditations à l’aube de la nuit”

Every evening 
A series of short concerts performed in Thiré church feature spiritual music, by candlelight, entitled “Meditations at the dawn of night”. These concerts close the festival each day in a contemplative atmosphere, without applause from the audience.

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