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Destouches: Semiramis

Wednesday March 4th 2020
8 pm | 3h with intermission


Éléonore Pancrazi Sémiramis
Emmanuelle de Negri Amestris
Mathias Vidal Arsane
Thibault de Damas Zoroastre
Judith Fa The Priestess, a Babylonian
Clément Debieuvre A genius, a Babylonian
David Witczak The Oracle

Chœur du Concert Spirituel
Hervé Niquet Preparation of the choir
Les Ombres
Margaux Blanchard, Sylvain Sartre Musical conductor


André Cardinal Destouches had an exceptional life. He began as a missionary in Siam, and went on to fight in the royal army at the siege of Namur (1692); he then discovered his talent for music, took lessons with Campra and became very close to the musician. His first opera composition Isse was performed in 1697 in front of Louis XIV with great success.

Twenty years later, he composed his last opera Semiramis (1718). Its powerful libretto retraces the ill-fated destiny of the Queen of Babylon, who fearing an oracle predicting her son would be the cause of her death, abandoned him at birth. But Arsane, the adoptive son she adores without knowing about his birth, will accomplish the gods’ will to save his beloved Amestris, after being turned mad by Zoroaster’s magic. From this powerful libretto, Destouches draws striking effects which turn his ultimate composition into a torrent of passion. Margaux Blanchard and Sylvain Sartre bring together the best artists for a fiery interpretation of this score recorded for our CD collection.

La Caisse des Dépôts is the principal patron of Les Ombres. The ensemble is supported by the DRAC and the Region Occitanie/Pyrénées-Méditerranée. Les Ombres are “artists in residence” at the Fondation Singer-Polignac and are members of FEVIS and PROFEDIM.

Show in French with surtitles in French and English


André Cardinal Destouches (1672–1749)

Musical Tragedy in five acts on a libretto by Pierre-Charles Roy, created in 1718 in Paris.

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Video: Semiramis, Destouches

Discover also the video Worldwide Re-creation of Semiramis (1718) of Destouches by Les Ombres.

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