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Compass Arts & Entertainment

Let’s be a fly on the wall in the court of Louis XIV, at his lavish palace of Versailles in 1682. There are entertainments in every room of the royal apartments. Here courtiers are running up high-stakes card games. There men and women are dancing in lines to a minuet, while next door they are catching up on the latest gossip. Around the corner delicate sweets and meats are being served.

And at the center of attention, the Sun King himself is enjoying his best-loved operettas and scenes from his favorite dramatic opera.

We don’t have to be a fly. We can almost...