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Lyrical Baroque Ensemble

Nigra Sum

C. Monteverdi and B. Attahir

“Nigra Sum sed formosa” (I am black and I am beautiful) is a meeting between earthly and heavenly, gravity and elevation, past and present.
Taken from the Song of Songs, this poem was set to music in 1610 by Monteverdi in the Vespers to the Virgin, the heart of our creation. This work belongs to both the Judaic and Catholic traditions, but above all it carries in its bowels a message of universality conducive to literary and musical variations. 
Thus, we invite Marik Froidefond, poet and author, as well as Benjamin Attahir, contemporary composer, to join this rereading with their modern and joint eye. These young creators, whose writings are at the crossroads,like a symbiosis of influences from different eras, propose a harmonious clash in which a common thought and questioning can be discerned: “How can we hear this ever-famous work today and how can we enter into a dialogue with it?”
From our fractured present, “Nigra Sum” lets in the celestial light of the Vespers, like a fusion where the contemporary breaks through Monteverdi's sacred work.


As part as the “New Worlds” program
Vespers to the Virgin (1610) by Claudio Monteverdi
An original creation by Benjamin Attahir

Artistic & musical director •Sébastien d’Hérin
Staging & dramaturgy • Caroline Mutel
Writers• Marik Froidefond

Orchestra • 17 artists (2 violins, 3 violas da braccio, 1 bass violin, 1 double bass gamba, 2 cornets, 3 sackbuts, 1 dulcian, 2 lutes, harp, organ)
Soloists & Choir • 12 singers (8 choristers et 4 soloists, SSSSAATTTTBBB)
School choir (12singers)