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Les Arts Florissants celebrates its 40th anniversary in Thiré

Les Arts Florissants celebrates its 40th anniversary in Thiré

Les Arts Florissants, an ensemble specialized in performing Baroque music, is celebrating its 40th anniversary on the grounds of a 17th century building in Thiré, in the French department of Vendée.

Saved from demolition at the last second, the « Building », a former 17th century home that was once a farm, is now the beating heart of the small village of Thiré in Vendée. In 1985, its new owner, William Christie, a harpsichord musician and orchestra director, renovated the site and set about creating a French-style garden featuring box hedges, hornbeam trees, yews, and lindens.

Les Arts Florissants celebrates 40 years of music

Featuring a cloister, dovecot, and pond, the estate, which occupies nearly 4 hectares, is classified as a regional historical monument and is well loved by its visitors. It is the centre point for Les Arts Florissants, an orchestra founded in 1979 that has since become one of the most famous Baroque ensembles in the world.

Festival les Arts Florissants music in the garden
This concert, which takes place in a more intimate setting, is attended by a small group of fans in the garden courtyard. © Julien Gazeau
Festival les Arts Florissants outdoor scene
At the end of the day, opera singers are featured on stage. © Julien Gazeau

A festival for art aficionados

Designed to foster creativity, promote interactions, and provide entertainment, this ensemble is named after an opera by Marc-Antoine Charpentier. It has played a leading role in shining light on a little known repertoire that is now traveling to the world’s greatest stages. From 24-31 August 2019, this festival will delight fans of music, gardens, and refined living.

Festival les Arts Florissants water mirror
Set in front of the pond, the botanical compositions recall mannerist Baroque gardens in France and Italy. © Julien Gazeau

A floral and musical journey in Vendée