Opera Lafayette Presents Modern Premiere of Jean-Philippe Rameau Opera to Commemorate 250th Anniversary of His Death, 10/9
NEW YORK, NY - Following a second sold-out residency at Château de Versailles Spectacles, Opera Lafayette returns home to the United States to launch its 20th anniversary season. The 2014-2015 season begins with the modern staged premiere of Jean-Philippe Rameau's Les Fêtes de l'Hymen et de l'Amour, ou Les Dieux d'Égypte (The Celebrations of Marriage and Love, or the Gods of Egypt) on Thursday, October 9, 2014, at the At Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Hall. In honor of Opera Lafayette's 20th anniversary season, 20% of tickets for this production will be available for $20.In this court opera, performed on the occasion of the marriage of the Dauphin to Marie-Joseph of Saxe in 1747, three different peoples embark on a mythical journey from conflict to unity. Louis Cahusac, the opera's librettist, was also a dance theorist who helped move dance beyond the decorative, integrating it into the opera's plot. Opera Lafayette's production will feature three critically acclaimed dance companies in the production's seven ballets. In Act One, a troupe of Egyptians, represented by the New York Baroque Dance Company, encounters a tribe of Amazons, comprised of dancers from Kalanidhi Dance. In Act Two, an angry god and his retinue - represented by the Seán Curran Company - flood the Nile and persuade the Egyptian people to abandon their ritual of human sacrifice. The rare collaboration of baroque, classical, Indian, and modern dance traditions highlights the work's central metaphor of uniting peoples through the discovery of enduring love and beauty. Each of the three acts is directed by one of the production's three contributing choreographers: Catherine Turocy of the New York Baroque Dance Company, Anuradha Nehru of Kalanidhi Dance, and Seán Curran of the Seán Curran Company. The New York Baroque Dance Company produces both historically accurate and reinterpreted baroque choreography; Catherine Turocy is a leading choreographer of 17th and 18th century dance, having reconstructed and choreographed over 20 opera-ballets, including numerous Rameau operas. Kalanidhi Dance, which previously collaborated with Opera Lafayette for 2013'sLalla Roukh, is a Maryland-based Indian dance company that specializes in the Kuchipudi dance style. Seán Curran is both an alumni and co-chair at Tisch School of the Arts. The critically acclaimed Opera Lafayette orchestra will be led by Conductor and Artistic Director Ryan Brown, recipient of the prestigious La Médaille d'Or du Rayonnement Culturel from La Renaissance Française. Rameau (1680 - 1764), one of the most important composers and theorists of the Baroque era, is renowned for both his operas and his work pioneering the principles of Western music. Sometimes referred to as the Isaac Newton of Music, Rameau's work is one of the first to derive fundamental musical laws using scientific methods and philosophy. Neglected and obscured for two and a half centuries after his death, the composer is currently undergoing a revival. This production continues Opera Lafayette's commemoration of the 250th anniversary of Rameau's death, which began with A Celebration of Rameau, Part I: The Salon on April 30, 2014.
Maltese soprano Claire Debono graduated with an MMus from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She has performed in two of Opera Lafayette's previous productions: Cosi fan tutte and Les Femmes Vengées. After completing his studies at the Cincinnati Conservatory, Jeffrey Thompson was awarded first prize in the Concours International de Chant Baroque de Chimay in Belgium by a jury led by William Christie. He has previously performed with Opera Lafayette in Le Magnifique and Le Roi et le fermier.
Opera Lafayette was recently awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for its production of Les Fêtes. This production will also perform at The Kennedy Center's Concert Hall on Monday, October 6, 2014.Cast:
Claire Debono - Orthésie, Orie William Sharp - Le Grand Prêtre, Un ?gyptien Jeffrey Thompson - Osiris, Aruéris Kyle Bielfield - Un Berger ?gyptien*
Ingrid Perruche - Mirrine, Memphis * The Opera Lafayette Orchestra and Chorus
François Lis - Canope, Un ?gyptien* Ryan Brown, Conductor
Aaron Sheehan - Le Plaisir, Agéris, Un Berger ?gyptien
Kelly Ballou - L'Amour, Une ?gyptienne
Laetitia Spitzer Grimaldi - L'Hymen,
Une Bergère ?gyptienne * Opera Lafayette debutOpera Lafayette is an American period-instrument ensemble that specializes in French repertoire, rediscovers masterpieces, and creates a recorded legacy of its work. Founded in 1995 in Washington, DC, by Conductor and Artistic Director Ryan Brown, Opera Lafayette has earned critical acclaim and a loyal following for its performances and recordings with international singers renowned for their interpretations of baroque and classical operas. The New York Times has said, "Opera Lafayette ... has built a sterling reputation through specializing in rarities by Gluck, Grétry and the like." Opera Lafayette's season includes performances at major venues in Washington, DC and New York City. At the invitation of Château de Versailles Spectacles, Opera Lafayette made its international debut at the Opéra Royal in February 2012 with the modern world premiere of Monsigny's Le Roi et le fermier. France's Opéra Magazine said, "This production should be noted and remembered in the annals of Versailles, for the intelligence of its staging, the beauty of its sets, and its high musical quality." Opera Lafayette recently returned to Versailles for five sold-out performances of Mozart's Cosi fan tutte and Philidor's Les Femmes Vengées in January and February of 2014.Opera Lafayette's discography on the Naxos label has expanded to ten releases, including Gluck's Orphée et Euridice (2005), Sacchini's Œdipe à Colone (2006), Rameau Operatic Arias (2007), Lully's Armide (2008), Rebel and Francœur's Zélindor, roi des Sylphes (2009), Monsigny's Le Déserteur (2010), Philidor's Sancho Pança (2011) Grétry's Le Magnifique (2012), Monsigny's Le Roi et le fermier and Félicien David's Lalla Roukh (2014). Philidor's Les Femmes Vengées will be released in 2015. Ryan Brown is the founder, conductor and artistic director of Opera Lafayette. Through his work with Opera Lafayette, Mr. Brown has gained an international reputation for his interpretations of French opera and for his role in the revival of significant works from the 18th and 19th centuries. Mr. Brown's repertoire and discography of ten recordings for Naxos include operas by well-known 18th-century composers (Gluck and Rameau) as well as rediscoveries of their contemporaries (Sacchini and Rebel/Francœur), works which exemplify traditions established in the 17th century (Lully and Charpentier), and those which point the way toward the music of the 19th century (Monsigny and Grétry). He was most recently widely lauded for the modern premiere and recording of Félicien David's 1862 Lalla Roukh, a seminal work of musical Orientalism. Mr. Brown's frequent performances of Italian works by Haydn, Mozart, Paisiello and Cimarosa have also met with great acclaim. Mr. Brown was raised in a musical family in California, and performed extensively as a violinist and chamber musician before turning his attentions to conducting. His teachers included Dorothy DeLay and Gustav Meier. In 2014 Mr. Brown returned to the Opéra Royal in Versailles, leading Opera Lafayette in Philidor's Les Femmes Vengées and Mozart's Cosi fan tutte. In 2015 he will conduct Vivaldi's Catone in Utica at the Glimmerglass Festival. Mr. Brown is a recipient of La Médaille d'Or du Rayonnement Culturel from La Renaissance Française.