29.07 - Nuits musicales en Vendée romane 22.08 - Festival of Sablé A week of unforgettable moments in Angers for the 25th anniversary CD Handel - Melodies in Mind in newspapers
Amarillis, a baroque ensemble with a variable line-up, currently ranks amongst the most original groups in Europe. It was created by Héloïse Gaillard, the flautist and oboist who is also in charge of the Ensemble’s artistic direction, and Violaine Cochard, harpsichordist and vocal coach. The Ensemble has been awarded three international first prizes.
Since 2012, in residence at the Grand Théâtre in Angers, Amarillis has been the city’s Artistic Ambassador. The Ensemble receives support from the French State and Pays de la Loire Region. It is a laureate of the Adami Révélations Classiques prize. In the course of its projects, Amarillis has received support from the Adami, Spedidam, the Fondation Orange, the Centre de Musique Baroque in Versailles, and many more.

The Ensemble’s discography of 17 CD recordings has been lauded by critics in the national and international press. Amarillis has recorded for Naïve, Ambronay, AgOgique, NoMadMusic, and Sony Classical. Their 17th CD, released by Evidence Classics in March 2017, commemorated the 250th anniversary of the death of Georg Philipp Telemann with a program of concertos by G.P. Telemann and J.S. Bach.

Amarillis has performed in France’s most prestigious halls and at its major music festivals (Théâtre des Champs Élysées, Théâtre de Poissy, La Philharmonie de Paris, the Festivals at Ambronay, Auvers-sur-Oise, Saintes, Sablé-sur-Sarthe, the Centre de Musique Baroque in Versailles, the Opéras in Lille, Versailles, Angers, Nantes, Avignon, etc., at the Arsenal de Metz, the Scène Nationale de Besançon, etc.). The Ensemble has also been invited abroad, to the UK (performing at the Royal Academy of Music, and the York and Brighton festivals, etc.), to the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Latin America, Canada, Senegal, India, Russia, China, to the French May Festival in Hong Kong, and to the United States (on tours sponsored by l’Institut Français).

Amarillis very often works with the finest of today’s singers: Patricia Petibon, Stéphanie d’Oustrac, Sonya Yoncheva, Karine Deshayes, and Mathias Vidal, for example. Depending on the program, the Ensemble may also call upon solo instrumentalists of international renown (Alice Piérot, David Plantier, etc.), united in the same spirit of chamber music.
The Ensemble explores various collections of European baroque music in search of little-known if not unheard music. The fruit of this musicological and historical research is the original Amarillis themed programs (Jeux de Dames à la Cour, Amour et Mascarade with Patricia Petibon, Ferveur et Extase with Stéphanie d'Oustrac, etc.). However, Amarillis also enjoys revisiting famous works (concertos by Antonio Vivaldi, concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach and Georg Philipp Telemann, Cantatas by Jean-Philippe Rameau, the repertoire of chamber music by Georg Friedrich Handel, etc.). Finally, Amarillis is thrilled to participate in projects which associate different musical genres, like jazz or contemporary music, as well as different artistic worlds, like theatre, dance, or storytelling (Inspiration Baroque avec Louis Sclavis, La Double Coquette combining the music of Dauvergne with music by Gérard Pesson, poetry by Pierre Alferi, and costumes by Annette Messager; Tafelmusik in collaboration with scenographer Eric Soyer).

The Ensemble also enjoys educating listeners. Amarillis is often invited to give musically-illustrated talks, reaching a wide variety of audiences. The French board of education has recognized this work, and features the Ensemble in its 2017 program to introduce junior-high-school students to opera music.
Amarillis is frequently featured in broadcasts by France Musique and Radio Classique. BBC, Mezzo, France Télévisions, and Arte have also videotaped many of the Ensemble’s concerts.

Amarillis is supported by the French State – the Pays de la Loire regional cultural affairs department – the Pays-de-la-Loire Region, and the City of Angers. It belongs to the Fédération des Ensembles Vocaux et Instrumentaux Spécialisés.