VOICEBOX/Opera in Concert Presents Rameau's HIPPOLYTE ET ARICIE, 2/2

Jean-Philippe Rameau revolutionized the French operatic tradition and HIPPOLYTE ET ARICIE is his crowning achievement. VOICEBOX/Opera in Concert presents Rameau's final version (1757) of this astounding work on Sunday February 2, 2014 with conductor Kevin Mallon leading the cast, chorus andAradia Ensemble on period instruments. The stellar cast includes Allyson McHardy, Meredith Hall, Colin Ainsworth and Alain Coulombe.

Throughout the ages, great composers have had second thoughts about their works and VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert presents Rameau's final version of this extraordinary and ground-breaking opera. "At its premiere, Rameau's work caused controversy and rival factions were formed," commented General Director Guillermo Silva-Marin. "I'm looking forward to this revision of the score, never before heard here in Canada." Nothing in his previous works had prepared Rameau's public for the intensely dramatic music, filled with the power and complexity that was heard on every page of HIPPOLYTE ET ARICIE. Upon its premiere in 1733, Rameau was hailed by some as the 'Orpheus of our century'...others called it baroque, at that time a pejorative description. The work was revived twice in Rameau's lifetime, the last in 1757 using his revision of that year.

The cast is led by mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy as Phèdre, the would-be lover of her stepson Hippolyte. Ms. McHardy, first heard by OIC audiences in Handel's ARIODANTE, was hailed in this role previously in Opera de Toulouse's production. Her stepson is tenor Colin Ainsworth, featured on OIC's recording of Rameau's CASTOR ET POLLUX. His beloved, Aricie, will be soprano Meredith Hall, who charmed OIC audiences asDorinda in last season's ORLANDO. Just returned from Netherlands Opera where he appeared in THE GAMBLER, is bass Alain Coulombe singing Thésée. Coulombe was heard by OIC audiences in LES HUGUENOTS and THAÏS. Conductor Kevin Mallon, a regular on OIC's podium, holds the post of Artistic Director for Ottawa's Thirteen Strings and looks forward to Mozart's LE NOZZE DI FIGARO at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa for Opera Lyra. Robert Cooper leads the distinguished VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert Chorus.

Don't miss the pre-concert chat - THE BACKGROUNDER - with Iain Scott 45 minutes before each show; a chance to learn about the opera, the composer and the musical culture of the times.

The season closes on Sunday, March 23, 2014 with Verdi's inflammatory work from 1850, STIFFELIO, featuringLaura Albino, Ernesto Ramirez and Geoffrey Sirett with Michael Rose as Music Director and Pianist along withRobert Cooper and the VOICEBOX/Opera in Concert Chorus.

Opera in Concert is supported by the Jackman Foundation, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council. Single tickets are available from the St. Lawrence Centre's Jane Mallett Theatre Box Office, 27 Front St. East, by phone - 416-366-7723 or 1-800-708-6754 - or online at www.stlc.com. The theatre is wheelchair accessible and close to public transit and municipal parking. All performances are on Sunday afternoons at the St. Lawrence Centre at 2:30pm.

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