Founded by Benjamin Perrot and Florence Bolton, La Rêveuse is an ensemble of solo musicians that works on the heritage of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a period rich in artistic experiments and inventions of all kinds.
La Rêveuse is frequently invited to appear in prestigious venues in France (Auditorium de Radio France, La Folle Journée de Nantes, Les Concerts Parisiens, Fontevraud Abbey, Théâtre de l’Athénée, the Chambord and Radio-France Montpellier festivals, the Scènes Nationales of Orléans, Blois, and Quimper, the TNP de Villeurbanne, etc.) and abroad, notably in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Russia, Japan, the United States and Canada.
The ensemble’s recordings have all been acclaimed by French and international critics and have received numerous awards. Its last CD at harmonia mundi, London circa 1720, Corelli’s legacy, is available since september 2020 and is already awarded Gramophone edito’s Choice, Diapason d’Or, Choix France Musique, Choice of Toccata and Musiq3/RTBF.
Wishing to forge links between the different artistic disciplines, the ensemble often collaborates with the world of the theatre and literature in order to give a new slant to classic texts. Among the notable productions it has premiered are L’Autre Monde ou les États et Empires de la Lune by Cyrano de Bergerac and Les Caractères de La Bruyère with the actor and director Benjamin Lazar, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme by Molière/Lully with Catherine Hiegel and François Morel, Molière’s Monsieur de Pourceaugnac with Théâtre de l’Éventail (Raphaël de Angelis) and L’Heure verte, a show focusing on the poets of the Cabaret du Chat Noir, with the composer Vincent Bouchot.
La Rêveuse also works regularly with youth audiences: in 2016 it created Jack et le Haricot Magique, a puppet show based on illustrations by the artist Walter Crane, which has enjoyed great success ever since.
Alongside this, the ensemble has developed over the past few years a series of concert-lectures, aimed at museums and media libraries, which bring out parallels between music and painting of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Each year, La Rêveuse undertakes educational and outreach projects with primary and secondary school students. Its most recent project, Les Lettres persanes revisitées, with migrants studying at schools in Orléans, was a finalist for the Prix de l’Audace Culturelle et Artistique 2016.
The ensemble has also invested in knowledge transfer through Les Ateliers de Musique Ancienne (Early Music Workshops), which aim to introduce the music and arts of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to a wide audience through a range of activities, including chamber music courses at the Conservatoire d’Orléans, lectures and ‘discovery concerts’.
In addition to the creation of new concert and recording programmes, future projects include an extended tour of rural areas in the Centre-Val de Loire Region on board the Opéra Bus, a bus converted into a mobile concert hall (Défis FFEA award – French federation of artistic teaching)
In 2017 La Rêveuse was awarded the Gold Medal of the Académie Arts-Sciences-Lettres for its overall achievement.
La Rêveuse receives support from the Ministère de la Culture (DRAC Centre-Val de Loire) and the Région Centre-Val de Loire as an ensemble conventionné, and from the City of Orléans. Mécénat Musical Société Générale is the principal patron of La Rêveuse. The ensemble’s vocal activities also receive support from the Fondation Orange. It is a member of the professional bodies FEVIS (Fédération des Ensembles Vocaux et Instrumentaux Spécialisés) and Profedim (Syndicat professionnel des Producteurs, Festivals, Ensembles, Diffuseurs Indépendants de Musique), and the Bureau-Export.
Florence Bolton begins the music at the age of seven, with the harpsichord and the recorder. Attracted by the bow instruments, she finally devotes herself to the viola da gamba. After obtaining a first prize for a viola da gamba and a first chamber music prize at the Saint-Cloud Conservatory (Sylvia Abramovicz’s class), she joined the early music department of the CNSM in Lyon where she studied with Marianne Muller. She obtained a first prize in 2001. She also holds a master’s degree in Japanese from the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations (INALCO).
As a soloist and continuist, she performs at numerous festivals in France and abroad with ensembles such as Akademia (Françoise Lasserre), Doulce Mémoire (Denis Raisin Dadre), La Fenice (Jean Tubéry), Il Seminario Musicale (Gérard Lesne), Musica Favola (Stéphan Van Dyck), Pierre Robert (Frédéric Désenclos), The Harmonic Poem (Vincent Dumestre), William Byrd (Graham O’Reilly), etc …
She founded, with Benjamin Perrot, the ensemble La Rêveuse, which she ensures with him the artistic direction. With La Rêveuse, she has created several shows including The Other World or the States and Empires of the Moon by Cyrano de Bergerac (2004) and Les Caractères de La Bruyère (2006), with the comedian and director Benjamin Lazar; The Thousand and One Nights (2011) with actress and director Louise Moaty; Concerto Luminoso (2012) – magic lantern show and old music – with the visual artist Vincent Vergone; L’Heure Verte (2017) with the composer Vincent Bouchot, a cabaret show about the resonances of the circle of libertines of Gaston d’Orléans and the poets of the Chat Noir.
Very interested in musical iconography, she works on the links music and painting and frequently intervenes for conferences or educational projects on these subjects, especially within the Old Music Workshops of Orleans.
Florence Bolton teaches viola and chamber music in Orleans and during various baroque music courses.
She has participated in numerous recordings at Alpha, Arion, K 617, Ligia Digital, Mirare, Naïve and Zig-Zag Territories.
Benjamin Perrot studied lute, theorbo and Baroque guitar with Eric Bellocq and Claire Antonini at the Conservatoire National Régional (CNR) in Paris, where he graduated in 1997 with the Diplôme Supérieur de Musique Ancienne. He then went on to advanced study with Pascal Monteilhet. In 1996-97 he was also trainee accompanist at the Studio Baroque de Versailles (Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles).
Since then he has been invited to appear as a soloist and continuo player in France and abroad. Giving priority to chamber music, he performs with such ensembles as Il Seminario Musicale (Gérard Lesne), Le Concert Brisé (William Dongois), Musica Favola (Stephan Van Dyck), the Ensemble Pierre Robert (Frédéric Désenclos), Le Poème Harmonique (Vincent Dumestre)… He also appears in orchestral music, notably with Le Concert Spirituel (Hervé Niquet) or Les Arts Florissants (William Christie).
He is co-founder of the ensemble La Rêveuse with Florence Bolton. He also created the production l’Autre Monde ou les Etats et Empires de la Lune with the actor and director Benjamin Lazar.
Benjamin Perrot has taken part in more than fifty recordings for labels including Accent, Accord, Alpha, Calliope, Glossa, K617, Mirare, Naïve, Zig-Zag Territoires…
He teaches lute and theorbo at the Conservatoire of Versailles and is a répétiteur at the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles. He also teaches on several early music training courses.