Following their landmark revival of Atys in 2011, conductor William Christie and his ensemble Les
Arts Florissants bring another impeccable presentation of French Baroque opera to BAM. David et Jonathas, the 1688 retelling of the biblical story of David (who slayed the Philistine giant Goliath) and Israeli prince Jonathan, contains some of Charpentier's most sensual music. David, banished by the
Israeli king Saul--who is jealous of the love between David and his son--flees to the Philistine camp.
Saul's hatred leads him to battle and David is eventually crowned king of Israel. Director Andreas Homoki, who leads this production (called "clean" and "fluid" by The New York Times), sets the opera in a modern North African locale to highlight the historical relevance. Les Arts Florissants plays the music "with a sensuality and passionate rigor that is simply astonishing" (The New York Times).