Abbaye aux Dames de Saintes Ensemble Vocal
The Ensemble Vocal de l’Abbaye aux Dames de Saintes consists of 29 singers and has been under the direction of Michel Laplénie since 1990. Its repertory of sacred and secular compositions stretches from the Baroque period to modern times and has allowed the ensemble to perform with various instrumental ensembles and prestigious conductors as Bernard Têtu, Philippe Herreweghe, Michel Corboz and Philippe Nahon. The ensemble recorded its first CD, Baroque sacré en Europe, for Cyprès in 1998; it includes works by Monteverdi, Purcell, Johann-Michael Bach, Johann-Ludwig Bach and Johann-Christoph Bach. The instrumental ensemble Les Menus Plaisirs accompanies the majority of their performances. Les Menus Plaisirs specialises in the performance of European Baroque and pre-classical music on original instruments. The ensemble’s name was chosen in reference to ‘the state of the least pleasures and affairs of the bedroom’; this was an account book in which we can read the outgoings and the out-of-the-ordinary expenses and of the extraordinary sums paid by the King for his musical and theatrical pleasures.