Not, evidently, my usual recreation, but change is good after all, and much as I loathed studying music to GCSE it does at least give me a background on these things. Everything was sung in French, although parts of it were hard to make out due to the very theatrical singing. Fortunately the Barbican provided supertitles, but their translation was relaxed to say the least, and lost much of the poetry of the music.
The pieces before the interval were "The generous Turk" (girl gets kidnapped from wedding, ends up prisoner of a Sultan who's infatuated with her, husband gets shipwrecked and captured by Sultan, Sultan proves incredibly noble by freeing both; lovers live happily ever after, turk cries in the corner), and "The Incas of Peru" which was such unreconstructed Conquistador propaganda that, while musically excellent, left me cringing slightly around 300 years after it was written.
As T was feeling tired we headed home at interval; it did me no good as my insomnia was in full force last night.
The night was enjoyable for many reasons (not least the company); the sheer novelty of course, but the quality of the music, both in composition and performance, was excellent. Les Arts Florissants were flawless, and everything was played on authentic instruments which perfectly suited the histories being presented.