Les Musiciens du Prince
Les Musiciens du Prince – Monaco is a Baroque ensemble founded in the spring of 2016 in the Principality of Monaco on the initiative of Cecilia Bartoli and in association with the director of the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, Jean-Louis Grinda. The project owed its realization to the unhesitating support of HSH Prince Albert II and HRH the Princess of Hanover. Since then Les Musiciens du Prince – Monaco and Cecilia Bartoli have been acclaimed in Europe’s leading concert halls and opera houses.
The ensemble’s artistic director is Cecilia Bartoli, who has brought together some of the world’s leading performers on period instruments, all of whom she has met in the course of her career. Her aim has been to create an orchestra that picks up the musical traditions found at major European courts in the 17th and 18th centuries. Her artistic vision is inspired not only by leading composers of the Baroque period such as Handel and Vivaldi but also by Rossini. A further goal is to encourage audiences to rediscover works that have rarely, if ever, been performed in the intervening centuries and to allow them to hear those works performed by an orchestra whose flexibility and range of tone colours are very different from those of a modern orchestra.
The orchestra’s inaugural concert took place in the Royal Courtyard of the Palace of Monaco on 8 July 2016 in the presence of Prince Albert and his family. It featured a programme of works by Handel that subsequently toured Europe, the first such tour by Les Musiciens du Prince – Monaco and Cecilia Bartoli. Their second tour took place in 2017 and marked the bicentenary of the first performances of Rossini’s La Cenerentola. Cecilia Bartoli sang the title role and Gianluca Capuano conducted Les Musiciens du Prince-Monaco. That same year they made their Salzburg Festival debut with Ariodante and a concert performance of La donna del lago. During the 2017/18 season at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo the ensemble was heard in four sold-out performances of La Cenerentola in Jean-Pierre Ponnelle’s legendary production, again with Cecilia Bartoli and Gianluca Capuano.
Les Musiciens du Prince – Monaco returned to Salzburg for a recital of arias by the Mexican tenor Javier Camarena at the 2018 Whitsun Festival. The same programme was later performed in Pavia and released on CD by Decca in association with the Cecilia Bartoli Music Foundation. After a Vivaldi concert in the Palace of Monaco on 25 July 2018 the orchestra started a further European tour that visited Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Austria and Italy and featured performances of La Cenerentola as well as the programme of the Vivaldi concert. At the 2019 Salzburg Whitsun Festival they are appearing in Alcina and at the gala concert Farinelli & Friends.
Les Musiciens du Prince – Monaco are in residence at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo.