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Opera Lafayette Announces 2020/21 Season 

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From the American West to the Great Hall of the Konzerthaus Berlin, Opera Lafayette celebrates the intersection of Culture, Intellect, and Community.

Opera Lafayette announce its 26th season featuring its boldest and most creative projects yet. Opera Lafayette kicked off their season with a critically-acclaimed, outdoor, live production of Philidor's The Blacksmith (Le Maréchal ferrant) at the Reddert Ranch outside Mancos, Colorado. They also released a short, behind-the-scenes documentary about the process of putting on the performance in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Sunday, November 15, 2:00 p.m. ET, Opera Lafayette will host an online presentation of the Colorado performance. There will be a pre and post show live-streamed conversation with The Blacksmith performers as well as a virtual viewing party. Then, from November 16 to November 29, viewers can access the filmed production via the organization's website. Opera Lafayette also plans to perform The Blacksmith in New York City (currently scheduled for June 22, 2021) and Washington, DC when permitted and safe.

For their second season production, Opera Lafayette will perform another opéra comique, Poise's Bonsoir Voisin, in Spring 2021 as the pandemic allows. By presenting these forms of opera, the company hopes to provide their audiences levity during a time we need it most. Bonsoir Voisin is a one-act opéra comique, known in France as "un lever de rideau" - a curtain raiser. This urbane romantic comedy about 19th-century ament life will feature the return of Dominique Côté as Charlot and Magali Simard-Galdés as Louisette to the Opera Lafayette stage. Jeffrey Watson will perform piano and Nick Olcott will direct.

Beyond the live performances, Opera Lafayette will host myriad online offerings of programming for all-ages, celebrating the intersection of culture, intellect, and community. This programming will include a Salon Series (lecture discussions on four topics unique to Opera Lafayette's vision), Sunday Serenades (a series of curated recitals by celebrated artists filmed around the world), The Village Green (dialogues on world events and their impact on the arts) and a continuation of the critically-acclaimed family programming, Opera Starts with Oh! More about the full season below.

In addition to purchasing events and performances individually or in bundles, for $160 audiences can access The Blacksmith streaming event, the full Salon Series and Sunday Serenades with a Season Package.

Sunday Serenade:

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Sunday Serenades is a new series of curated recitals featuring celebrated artists performing a wide range of works by composers from Italy, France, England, and the United States and will be recorded in international venues from the historic Triune Masonic Temple in St. Paul, Minnesota to the Great Hall of the Konzerthaus Berlin.

Audiences can select from two different viewing experiences, including a live, opening performance Sunday matinee (2:00 p.m. ET) that will feature an interactive discussion with the artists following the recital, or an on-demand viewing at one's leisure for a limited time, sans artist discussion. Both types of experiences are $15/recital or a package for $40/all three recitals. The series began with a free season preview with tenor Jack Swanson with Roderick Phipps-Kettlewell, Piano.

Caitlin Hulcup and Thomas Dunford and Friends
Opening: Sunday, January 31, 2021, 2:00 p.m.
Stream on demand: February 1 - 13, 2021

Jonathan Woody and Reginald Mobley and Friends

Opening: Sunday, February 28, 2021, 2:00 p.m.
Stream on demand: March 1 - 14, 2020

Laetitia Grimaldi and Stephanie Houtzeel, with Ammeil Bushakevitz and Charles Brink
Opening: Sunday, March 28, 2021, 2:00 p.m.
Stream on demand: March 30 - March 12, 2021

The Salon Series:

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As a nod to the French intellectuals of 17th Century, Opera Lafayette will host a virtual Salon Series led by masters in their field on various subjects unique to Opera Lafayette's vision. The pricing for the Salon Series are $10/discussion or $25 for a complete 3 discussion series or $30 for a complete 4 discussion series.

A Musical and Historical Journey Through Opera Comique: Hosted by Julia Doe
In this series of three lecture-discussions, Julia Doe will draw on Opera Lafayette's extensive discography to present a historical and musical tour through the lyric theater of Old-Regime France. At each stage, we will blend analysis of the musical features of these lyric works with a broader consideration of the ways that they resonated with the political and social changes of the turbulent pre-revolutionary years.

Three Part Series: November 5, 12, and 19, 2020

Overtures: Hosted by Principal Players of Opera Lafayette's Acclaimed Orchestra
Before Opera Lafayette there was The Violins of Lafayette, a chamber ensemble of strings dedicated to exploring 17th- and 18th-century French musical culture. Over a quarter-century later, The Opera Lafayette Orchestra remains the musical foundation of the company. Opera Lafayette musicians play on period instruments - old instruments or modern replicas which would have been familiar to the composers whose music the company performs. At each session you will meet principal players who will introduce you to his/her instrument and the role the section plays in early opera. In addition to hearing the individual instruments, the sessions will feature overtures recorded by the orchestra. Artists will include Andrew Appel, Charles Brink, John Feeney, June Huang, Anna Marsh, Loretta O'Sullivan, Margaret Owens, Christof Richter, Nina Stern, John Theissen, and Todd Williams.

Four Part Series: January 7, 14, 21, and 28, 2021

Opera and Dance: Hosted by Sean Curran with Guests Anuradha Nehru and Catherine Turocy

Dance was an intrinsic element of French baroque opera and has been an essential component to Opera Lafayette's performances. This series will engage with the artistic leadership of three frequent Opera Lafayette partners. Each session will reveal the unique dance style of the company and share insights into the collaboration of projects such as Lully's Acis et Galatée, Handel's Radamisto, and Geminiani's La forêt enchantée. The series will culminate with Ryan Brown hosting a discussion with all three artistic directors discussing the making of Rameau's Les Fêtes de l'Hymen et de l'Amour, ou Les Dieux d'Egypte, which featured all three dance companies.

Four Part Series: March 4, 11, 18, and 25, 2021

From Score to Modern Premiere: Hosted by Ryan Brown, with Guests Charles Brink, Will Crutchfield, and Nizam Kettaneh

In its 25-year history, Opera Lafayette has built a reputation for returning to the stage operatic works lost to the passage of time. Each discussion introduces works that were popular in their day, influenced the composers of today's musical canon, and maintain contemporary relevance. There are many steps Opera Lafayette must take when preparing a modern premiere beyond the planning required for the performance of a work in the current repertoire. This series looks at the process of recreating and preserving works not yet heard by contemporary ears, including several of Opera Lafayette's twelve modern premieres.

Four Part Series: May 6, 13, and 20, 2021

Opera Starts with Oh!

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Families around the globe are invited to join Opera starts with Oh! for what The Washington Post calls, "The best Zoom there is!" Opera starts with Oh! Online is a series of livestreamed, educational lessons created by Opera Lafayette to introduce young audiences to the magic of opera! Led by international director, choreographer, and educator Emma Jaster and Opera Lafayette's Artist Services and Community Engagement Manager Ersian Francois, and featuring new guest artists every session, Opera starts with Oh! is perfect for families with children pre-k through elementary, but all ages are welcome. After the live sessions each week, participants can enjoy activities to do at-home on and off the screen to keep them singing, dancing, and creating. Each session is pay-what-you-can to widen access.

November Sessions: How the West Was Sung!

Travel west with The Blacksmith through song, art, and instruments, inspired by Opera Lafayette's recent production created in the great outdoors of Colorado! This exciting production makes a rare mix of cowboys and Opera! Each unique session will give your child a chance to sing, play, and draw, inspired by this exciting story that mixes cowboys and opera. While any one session is engaging and enriching as a drop-in, we encourage registration for all three to follow the full story and learn all the elements that bring it to life.

Three Part Series: November 4, 11, 18, 2020

December Sessions: A Classic Opera Story

December 2, 9, 16, 2020

January Sessions: Topic TBA

January 6, 13, 20, 27, 2021

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