Initially active as Quatuor Matheus, the group presently numbers among the most outstanding orchestral ensembles whose repertoire includes works from the 17th to the 20th centuries. The musicians play both historical and modern instruments.
Since 1996, the ensemble has been associated with the cultural center Le Quartz in Brest (Brittany); and for several seasons, also with the stage of the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, where it prepares a new production every year. Ensemble Matheus' performances and recordings have been awarded many international prizes. The group collaborates regularly with such well-known personalities as Natalie Dessay, Susan Graham, Jennifer Larmore, Sandrine Piau, Philippe Jaroussky, Veronica Cangemi, Marie-Nicole Lemieux and Topi Lehtipuu. It is a frequent guest on the most important stages of Europe, as well as other continents. In recent years, the ensemble has taken part in productions of many operatic works, among others W. A. Mozart's Die Zauberflöte in Bilbao (directed by Daniel Abbado); G. Rossini's La pietra del paragone at the Théâtre du Châtelet (directed by Giorgio Corsetti and Pierrick Sorin - recorded and released on DVD); G. F. Handel's Alcina (directed by Robert Carsen - presented at the Paris Opera and the Wiener Konzerthaus, as well as for the inauguration of the new season at the Grand Théâtre de Provence in Aix); A. Messager's Véronique at the Théâtre du Châtelet (directed by Fanny Ardant); A. Vivaldi's La fida ninfa, which was presented on a grand tour of Europe (in, among other cities, Vienna, Madrid, Brussels and Paris); Mozart's Cosi fan tutte at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées; and Claus Guth's theatrical project with Handel's Messiah, prepared in Vienna and then presented in several European countries. In February 2008, Ensemble Matheus debuted in the United States (Carnegie Hall in New York); and the next year, with Philippe Jaroussky, it gave a series of concerts with arias dedicated to the famous castrato Farinelli. It has performed with great success at the Salzburg festival, as well as at London's Royal Albert Hall as part of the Proms concerts, with which it began the 2010/11 artistic season. Afterwards it continued its repertoire inquiries taking part in a new production of Vivaldi's Orlando furioso at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, as well as opera theaters in Nice and Lorraine. Then it went on a European concert tour with Cecilia Bartolli, appeared at the Musikfest in Bremen, the Tonhalle in Zürich and the Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome. The ensemble has made numerous recordings for, among other labels, Naïve (among other items, four operas by A. Vivaldi - La verita in cimento, Orlando furioso, Griselda and La fida ninfa; as well as an album with his Stabat Mater and Nisi Dominus featuring Philippe Jaroussky and Marie-Nicole Lemieux) and Virgin Classics (their album with arias by A. Vivaldi entitled Heroes, recorded with Philippe Jaroussky, has attained double gold disc status). The group's activity is sponsored by the Conseil Régional de Bretagne, Conseil Général du Finistere, the City Hall in Brest and the Ministry of Culture and Communication - DRAC Bretagne, thanks to which, since the beginning of its career involved in the cultural development of the region, the ensemble has been able to offer to music lovers productions at the highest artistic level. In 2012, it took part in the Festival des Vieilles Charrues, the largest rock festival in France.
Picture: Chris Christodoulou