Legendary beauty, profligate spender, executed royal, these are some of the terms used to describe Marie-Antoinette(1755-1793), the Dauphine of France and wife to Louis XVI. Long after her death, she is the subject of books, films and other media, and is widely considered a major historical figure.
This programme is a musical evening themed around Marie-Antoinette and her time. While she was badly educated, music was her passion. Not only could she read music, but she could sing and play the clavichord. The harp was her favorite instrument and her teacher was the gifted Philippe Joseph Hinner. In fact, Marie Antoinette would often play lullabies on the harp to soothe her son, Louis Charles. Marie-Antoinette’s patronage also brought many celebrated musicians to the French court.
Through a selection of 18th-century songs-- including two composed by the queen herself--we hope to illuminate different aspects of her life neglected in popular culture, and tell a story of a gifted music lover, as well as a devoted sister and mother.