Les Arts Florissants
The vocal and instrumental ensemble Les Arts Florissants is one of the most well known and respected early music groups in the world. Performing in an historically informed manner, the ensemble was founded in 1979 by the Franco-American harpsichordist and conductor William Christie, and takes its name from a short opera by Marc-Antoine Charpentier.
Les Arts Florissants were largely responsible for the resurgence of interest in France in 17th and 18th century French repertoire, and in European music of this period more generally. This was repertoire which had, for the most part, been neglected, (much of it unearthed from collections in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France), but which is now widely performed and admired.
Since the acclaimed production of Atysby Lully at the Opéra Comique in Paris, it is in the field of opera where Les Arts Florissants have found most success.