La Petite Musique de Marie-Antoinette: Music for the Queens Theater
Near Trianon, the young Queen Marie-Antoinette built a small and secret theater, to act and sing herself with friends and family. The little theater is still there, newly restored. For the first time since the XVIII century, opera arias and symphonies by Gretry and Gossec, two of the queen's best composers, are played with ancient sets and instruments. A cycle of late 18th century music, programmed by the Baroque Music Center of Versailles, showcases the finest compositions of the musical repertoire played in Paris, under the influence of Marie-Antoinette, during the reign of Louis XVI. The Center joined with French-speaking musicians from different horizons, giving pride of place to the great French-Walloon composers, Andre-Modeste Gretry and Francois-Joseph Gossec. Both enjoyed major careers under Louis XVI: the first built his reputation on his comic operas, which Marie-Antoinette greatly admired; the second came to be considered the true father of the French symphony.