Met Opera & Juilliard Announce a Semi-Staged Concert of Gluck's Armide
The Metropolitan Opera and The Juilliard School jointly announced plans today for a semi-staged concert performance of Gluck's Armide, the second collaboration between the two institutions, following last season's acclaimed new production of The Bartered Bride, conducted by James Levine and staged by Stephen Wadsworth. Jane Glover, a well-known specialist in music of the Classical and Baroque periods, will conduct. The performances will take place in Juilliard's Peter Jay Sharp Theater on Wednesday, February 8 and Saturday, February 11, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. Fabrizio Melano will direct the semi-staged concert version, with Kate Ashton as lighting designer and David Moody as chorus master. Glover will lead the Juilliard Orchestra and a cast featuring current members and graduates of both the Met's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and the Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at Juilliard. Armide will be sung in the original French with principal music and language preparation by Denise Massé. Casting will be announced at a later date.
The Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and The Juilliard School Partnership was announced in February 2008. The Lindemann Young Artist Development Program is under the leadership of James Levine, artistic director, and Brian Zeger, executive director. Zeger is also artistic director of the Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at Juilliard. This collaboration aims to use the resources of both institutions to identify and educate the finest young opera singers and collaborative pianists for careers in the world's great opera houses.
Armide, with music by Christoph Willibald Gluck and a libretto by Philippe Quinault, premiered in Paris in 1777. Despite its reputation as one of Gluck's finest works, the Met has only presented it in 1910 and 1912. However, those performances, which marked the opera's United States premiere, featured an illustrious cast led by Arturo Toscanini and included Olive Fremstad,
Enrico Caruso, Alma Gluck, Louise Homer, and Pasquale Amato.
Jane Glover is currently Music Director of Chicago's Music of the Baroque and Artistic Director of Opera at London's Royal Academy of Music. She is best known for her conducting of operas by Mozart, Handel, and Monteverdi, but her repertoire is very broad, encompassing many works of Britten as well as pieces by contemporary composers such as Oliver Knussen and
Peter Maxwell Davies. She has regularly appeared in major opera houses such as the Royal Opera Covent Garden, English National Opera, Berlin State Opera, Glyndebourne Festival, Royal Danish Opera, Opéra du Rhin (Strasbourg), Bordeaux Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, New York City Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Opera Australia, and La Fenice, Venice, as well as with many major international orchestras. Her book, Mozart's Women, was published in 2005 and nominated for both the Samuel Johnson Prize and the Whitbread Prize for Non-Fiction. She is currently writing a book on Handel.
Fabrizio Melano is an established figure on the international opera scene, having worked with leading opera houses throughout the world for more than 25 years. He began a long-standing relationship with the Metropolitan Opera in 1970, and has since staged new production premieres of Pelléas et Mélisande, Norma (with Renata Scotto), and Puccini's Il Trittico, La Bohème, and Madama Butterfly. The director's extensive work also includes new productions for Lyric Opera of Chicago, New York City Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, and Opera Company of Philadelphia. In April 2010 he directed Juilliard Opera's fully-staged production of
Francis Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites.
Founded in 1980 by James Levine, the Met's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, named after benefactors Mr. and Mrs. George Lindemann, has served as a training program for many well-known artists, including Stephanie Blythe, DWayne Croft, Anthony Dean Griffey, Paul Groves, Nathan Gunn, Aprile Millo, Heidi Grant Murphy, and Dawn Upshaw. Participants receive a yearly stipend in addition to musical and language coaching with the Met's artistic staff. Through the Juilliard partnership, the Met's Lindemann Program and Juilliard Vocal Arts share some full-time faculty, guest faculty, master classes, and a host of other resources, offering a rich developmental environment to educate the next generation. Juilliard's related educational courses are available to the young artists, and participants also have access to the extensive resources of Juilliard's Lila Acheson Wallace Library. Likewise, Juilliard students now enjoy access to master classes, dress rehearsals, and performances at the Met as a result of the new collaboration, enabling students at every level to take advantage of the world-class opera across the plaza. Juilliard students may participate as guest artists of Lindemann presentations, and Lindemann artists appear as guest artists at Juilliard performances, thus increasing the potential for performance opportunities for all participants. The Met's young artist program always has been open to participants with a variety of educational backgrounds from the United States and abroad. Auditions are held annually at the opera house. Participants take part in the program for a maximum of three years, with contracts renewed on an annual basis.
Juilliard's program for singers was re-dedicated last season as the Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at Juilliard in acknowledgement of their generous gift supporting new and expanded programs throughout Juilliard's curriculum for singers. The program annually enrolls more than 70 singers in a variety of undergraduate (bachelor of music, diploma) and graduate degree programs (master of music, graduate diploma, artist diploma). Juilliard Opera presents fully-staged productions each season, casting Juilliard students from both the School's artist diploma and master of music programs in all roles, working with prominent international guest conductors and directors. The Juilliard School has presented staged operas since 1929, with a full department created the following year. Among the world-renowned singers who have studied at Juilliard are Simon Estes,
Tickets for Armide at $30 will be available beginning January 11, 2011 through the Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office at Juilliard, through CenterCharge at (212) 721-6500, or online at www.juilliard.edu. For further information, call (212) 769-7406 or go to www.juilliard.edu.