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Regional Opera Company of the Week: Opera Lafayette

BroadwayWorld.com, the largest theatre site on the net, continues its expansion into other areas of entertainment with our latest feature -The Regional Opera Company of the Week!

This week's featured Opera Company is Opera Lafayette in Washington, DC!

Opera Lafayette is an American period-instrument ensemble focused on the French 17th and 18th century opera repertoire and its precursors, influences and artistic legacy. 

Given the focus of the companies work, they are committed to rediscovering masterpieces of the past.  Opera Lafayette inspires a love of this repertoire by presenting rediscovered masterpieces and creating a recorded legacy of its work.   

Founded in 1995 in Washington, DC, Opera Lafayette presents concert opera, concert opera with dance, and semi- and fully-staged operas.  They have earned critical acclaim and a loyal following of both their performances and recordings with international singers renowned for their interpretations of baroque and classical operas.  While the company was founded in Washington DC, it does not only perform there.  Opera Lafayette's season includes performances at major venues in Washington, DC, and New York City.  Among these venues are such well-known places as the Kennedy Center, The Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall.  At the invitation of Château de Versailles Spectacles, Opera Lafayette made its international debut at the Opéra Royal just this past February (2012) with the modern world premiere of Monsigny’s Le Roi et le fermier.

Opera Lafayette is committed to teaching 17th and 18th century musical traditions to the next generation of artists, and to cultivating an appreciation of this music among new audiences of all ages.  Their main focus is making opera accessible to the general public, families, young people and underserved audiences. 

The company provides educational and outreach programs and performances in low cost alternative venues in order to allow everyone the opportunity to see their work.  Opera Lafayette has built a reputation for providing performances and recordings with international Singers renowned for their interpretations of baroque and classical operas. 

Ryan Brown is the founder, conductor, and artistic director of Opera Lafayette. Through  his work with Opera Lafayette, Mr. Brown has become a leading figure in the revival of 18th-century opera. His vivid explorations of the French repertoire in particular have earned him an international reputation, receiving the highest praise from critics in the United States and abroad.  Mr. Brown’s vivid explorations of the French repertoire have highlighted the various traditions of the tragédie lyrique, the opéra-ballet, the opéra-comique, the pastorale, and the opéra-giocoso genres.  Just last year the New York Times noted that “Opera Lafayette has built a sterling reputation through specializing in rarities by Gluck, Grétry and the like,” and called the company’s February 2011 program, Grétry’s Le Magnifique, “a real find,” praising Ryan Brown for drawing “a stylish performance from an appealing young cast and a fine period-instrument orchestra.”

The 2012-2013 season is already underway with the performance of L’Invitation au Voyage just last month.  Be sure to check out the rest of Opera Lafayette’s current season:

Félicien David's Lalla Roukh 

January 26, 2013, Washington, DC
January 31, 2013, New York City

Charpentier's Actéon 

May 1 and 2, 2013, Washington, DC


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Scott Frost Scott Frost is a Production and Stage Manager and a Freelance Costume Designer. In addition to being a theatrical manager and designer he currently works for Music Theatre International, the leader in the theatrical licensing industry, specializing in Broadway, Off-Broadway and West End musicals.


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