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Lyrical Baroque Ensemble

The ensemble

"The most delicate pleasure is to do the pleasure of others"
La Bruyère

Baroque music is profoundly alive.

Constantly renewed, it is music for all spaces, all emotions and is aimed at everyone. Its nature is so simple and popular, but also rich and subtle. To bring it even more into our time, Les Nouveaux Caractères invite you to rediscover baroque works from a new perspective. Not like a distant echo or a distant feeling, but like a powerful and instantaneous art, which resonates in us in the present.

In 2006, Caroline Mutel and Sébastien d’Hérin created the ensemble Les Nouveaux Caractères. Based in Lyon and specialized in the Baroque repertoire, they are particularly interested in its operas and theatrical forms. From Monteverdi's first opera "Orfeo" (1607) to Rousseau's "Devin du Village" (1753), Les Nouveaux Caractères study, interpret and pass on this precious musical heritage to everyone.

Whether in emblematic places where baroque music has taken place since the time of Louis XIV (Royal Chapel of the Palace of Versailles), in prestigious and international places (Auditorium de Lyon as an "associated ensemble", Opéra of Lyon, the festivals of Ambronay, Sinfonia in Périgord, La Chaise Dieu) or in theaters and national stages (Saint Quentin en Yvelines, Point Commun-new National Stage of Pontoise), the ensemble makes it its mission to make live historical music with passion, excellence but also with a commitment: to make it accessible to the general public.

Thus, through a rich and demanding program and through their commitment to solidarity, Les Nouveaux Caractères have been a key player in Baroque music in France for several years.


Beyond the flagship works, Les Nouveaux Caractères also promote a repertoire of unpublished works. Works unfortunately forgotten, confidential or little highlighted, but no less qualitative! For example, they bring "Egine" by Colin de Blamont, "Les Surprises de l'Amour" by Jean-Philippe Rameau and others to life.

To give the public the chance to appropriate this heritage, Les Nouveaux Caractères stage it in shows with sets, actors, dancers or circus artists. Thus, part of the ensemble’s programming benefits from directing work and partnerships with various actors in the performing arts. This is what Caroline Mutel has recently proposed to explore on some great works such as  "Stabat Mater" by Pergolesi, the shows for young audiences "Monsieur Croche", "Bach=14", "Du Coq à l'Ane", the opera “The Fairy Queen” by Purcell, or soon “Livietta and Tracollo” by Pergolesi.

Finally, the ensemble ventures into unexpected places, in contact with audiences who do not necessarily have knowledge of this artistic heritage. Thus, various mediation activities are carried out with middle and high school students, unaccompanied minors or people in a situation of social reintegration.

Les Nouveaux Caractères internationally

Since 2010, their influence has also extended internationally with a first concert in Venice in 2010, a tour of Mexico (Cervantino festival) and the United Arab Emirates in 2019. This last experience in Ajman paves the way for a lasting collaboration and the project of an annual baroque music festival, between musicians from the United Arab Emirates and France.


Les Nouveaux Caractères are supported for all their activities by the Ministry of Culture / Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs Auvergne – Rhône-Alpes, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region, the Metropolis of Lyon, City of Lyon, National center of music, SPEDIDAM, ADAMI, Caisse des dépôts, FCM The Funds for Musical Creation, the Export Office, Fondation de France.

They are Associated Ensemble of the Auditorium of Lyon from the 19/20 season, and are members of FEVIS, PROFEDIM and the Export Office.

Since January 2021, they have been in residence at the Institution des Chartreux (Lyon) and benefit from the support of the Chartreux Endowment Fund.

Since September 2021, they are a formative organization.

EbulliScience, Microsoft non-profit, Nowteam company (digital partner), Atis de Conta company, PhaSme graphic workshop, Cédric Roulliat (photographer), Orfis Baker Tilly and Rhône Development Initiative

Caroline Mutel & Sébastien d'Hérin ©Cedric Rouillat
Caroline Mutel & Sébastien d'Hérin ©Cedric Rouillat