Rameau's SYMPATHY to Make American Premiere with Victory Hall Opera

Rameau's SYMPATHY to Make American Premiere with Victory Hall Opera

Victory Hall Opera will present the American Premiere of Jean-Philippe Rameau's Sympathy (1751, original title: Acante et Céphise ou La Sympathie), performed in French with English supertitles at The Haven, 112 Market Street, Charlottesville VA, 22902.

Performances will run October 28, November 1 and 3 at 7:30pm. Tickets: $12 (Student), $40 (General Admission), $75 Premium. Visit www.victoryhallopera.org/sympathy for more information.

Conducted by one of America's foremost performers of early music, Christine Brandes, and directed by VHO's Artistic DIrector Miriam Gordon-Stewart, Sympathy tells the story of two lovers whose relationship is put to the test. Our characters turn to self-help gurus, to best-selling theories and to public protest to try and stay together. But will they find their bliss?

In this reimagining of a Baroque masterpiece, never before performed in the United States, Victory Hall Opera continues its trademark theatrical exploration by pairing opera with hiphop dance in a contemporary mashup. In collaboration with Resident Ensemble "Early Music Access Project" led by Charlottesville's David McCormick (formerly of Three Notch'd Road), and hiphop choreographer Maria Daniel, VHO will showcase the beauty of Baroque music in an innovative and thought-provoking way.

Joining VHO for this production are internationally-admired artists Rachelle Durkin (Soprano) as Céphise and Ted Schmitz (Tenor) as Acante, with Jorelle Williams (Baritone) as Le Génie. Also starring VHO's Brenda Patterson (Mezzo-soprano) as The Grand Priestess.


Rachelle Durkin (Céphise): New York-based Australian-born lyric coloratura soprano Rachelle Durkin is a regular Principal Artist at the Metropolitan Opera, starring as Lisa (La Sonnambula), Clorinda (Cenerentola), First Handmaiden (Sly), Miss Schlesen (Satyagraha), Masha (Pique Dame), Frasquita (Carmen), Elvira (L'Italiana in Algeri) and First Flower Maiden (Parsifal). Her appearance as Norina (Don Pasquale) at he MET won her a thunderous standing ovation. Rachelle has performed regularly with Opera Australia in roles including Violetta (La Traviata) and Adina (L'elisir d'amore). She has recently also starred with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Sydney Philharmonia, Hawaii Opera Theatre, West Australian Opera, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Ted Schmitz (Acante): Berlin-based American tenor Ted Schmitz, known for his witty and versatile stage presence, appears internationally in a wide range of operatic roles, specializing in the music of Benjamin Britten. Highlights include his work with Seattle Opera, Opera Bellas Artes Mexico City, Nico and the Navigators, Bregenzer Festspiele, Aldeburgh Festival, Glyndebourne and The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. His upcoming schedule includes performances at BOZAR, Brussels; Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Staatstheater Oldenburug; Staatstheater Braunschweig; Konzerthaus Berlin; Berlin Radialsystem, Arsenal de Metz, Kampnagel in Hamburg, Opera Nîmes and Theatre d'Antibes.

Jorelle Williams (Génie): Baritone Jorell Williams has been hailed by The Washington Post for his "liquid singing" and "plummy baritone". This season, Mr. Williams appears with the Juneau Symphony Orchestra and as a Soldier in Aucoin's Crossing with the Brooklyn Academy Of Music. In addition, he will premiere new works by Libby Larsen and Daren Hagen in New York City. Jorell made his European opera debut at the Budapesti Nyari Fesztival, followed by debuts at Seattle Opera and Atlanta Opera. He appeared with Urban Arias in the World Premiere of Independence Eve and performed as soloist with Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra for Marsalis' Abyssinian Mass. Mr. Williams has performed and recorded World Premieres by Wynton Marsalis, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu and David Lang (with Beth Morrison Projects) and is on the 2017 Grammy-nominated recording of Jennifer Higdon's Cold Mountain with the Santa Fe Opera.

Miriam Gordon-Stewart (Director): Australian soprano Miriam Gordon-Stewart has gained recognition across four continents for her powerful instrument and dramatic vulnerability, specializing in the repertoire of Wagner and Strauss. Described in the French press as "a genuine singer-actress", she has performed over 40 leading roles at major opera houses including the Sydney Opera House, Hamburg State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Châtelet (Paris), Korean National Opera and the Bayreuth Festival. She has also performed in concert with the Dresden Philharmonic, the Gulbenkian Orchestra, Lisbon and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Her production of Rameau's Sympathy for Victory Hall Opera will be her directing debut.

Christine Brandes (Conductor): Soprano and conductor Christine Brandes has one of the most prestigious performing careers of her generation. Highlights of Ms. Brandes' career include William Bolcom's A View from the Bridge at Washington National Opera, Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and Händel's Giulio Cesare at Seattle Opera, Britten's The Turn of the Screw at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Händel's Ariodante at Houston Grand Opera and San Diego Opera, and Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea at the Los Angeles Opera. Ms. Brandes has performed Le nozze di Figaro with New York City Opera, Seattle Opera, Opera Pacific, and with the opera companies of Minnesota, Montréal, Philadelphia, and Québec. She has recorded with EMI, BMG/Conifer Classics, Dorian, Harmonia Mundi USA, Virgin Classics, and Koch International.

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