Le Poeme Harmonique

Founded in 1998, Le Poème Harmonique is a musical ensemble directed by Vincent Dumestre. Specialised in the music of the 17th and early 18th centuries, right from its earliest days it has been renowned for its team work and involvement with other artistic disciplines.

Actors, dancers, acrobats and puppeteers performed alongside singers and musicians in its acclaimed productions of “Le Bourgeois gentilhomme” (Lully and Molière, stage directed by Benjamin Lazar), “Le Carnaval Baroque” (stage directed by Cécile Roussat), “Caligula” (with Mimmo Cuticchio) and “To be or not to be” (stage directed by Vincent Huguet). 

In 2018, its 20th anniversary year, the ensemble will return to Lully with new creation, “Phaéton”, at Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre in Russia and at the Royal Opera in the Château de Versailles.

In april 2017, Le Poème Harmonique created two productions at the Misteria Paschalia Festival in Kraków: “Il Terremoto”, a sacred opera by Antonio Draghi and “Majesté – Te Deum et Grands Motets” by Michel-Richard De Lalande, which was then recorded at the Chapelle Royale in the Château de Versailles.

Le Poème Harmonique revolutionised approaches to the baroque opera aesthetic in “Cadmus et Hermione” by Lully and “Egisto” by Cavalli (stage directed by Benjamin Lazar), without losing touch with the contemporary scene, as revealed by the success of “Dido and Aeneas” (stage directed by Cécile Roussat and Julien Lubek).

Its recordings of popular or little-known repertoires, including the “Aux Marches du Palais” album devoted to traditional French songs, and “Nova Metamorfosi”, reach a wide audience. However, its performances of major works from the baroque repertoire, such as “Combattimento” by Monteverdi and the “Leçons de Ténèbres” by Couperin, also set the standard in musical excellence. In 2017 is released the “Son of England” album, bringing together the Odes of Purcell and Jeremiah Clarke. Le Poème Harmonique increasingly performs as an orchestra in programmes with large choral sections.

Le Poème Harmonique has performed in some of the world’s leading concert halls and will be in tour in 2017/2018 in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Russia, India, and Poland. The ensemble has already appeared in such prestigious venues as the Philharmonie de Paris, the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, the Opéra Comique, the Opéra Royal de Versailles, at festivals in Beaune, Ambronay and Sablé, in the Wigmore Hall in London, the Forbidden City Hall in Beijing , the Wiener Konzerthaus, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Oji Hall (Tokyo), Columbia University in New York, the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, the Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, and at the BBC Proms.

Le Poème Harmonique records exclusively on the Alpha label and has received top press awards in France, including the Diapason d’or, Choc in Classica, ffff in Télérama, and the Grand Prix de l’Académie Charles Cros, and international prizes such as the Prelude Classical Award, Cæcilia Award and Cini Foundation Award.

Pic. Jean-Baptiste Millot