Rare Rameau

On February 2nd Voicebox: Opera in Concert will be performing Rameau’s rarely performed Hippolyte et Aricie at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts.  The cast will be led by mezzo Alyson McHardy as Phèdre with tenor Colin Ainsworth as Hippolyte, soprano Meredith Hall as Aricie and veteran bass Alain Coulombe as Thesée.  Accompaniment will be by the Aradia Ensemble conducted by Kevin Mallon.  Tickets are available from www.stlc.com

It seems like some of the most interesting repertoire choices this year are being presented in concert rather than fully staged.  At least this one has more than piano accompaniment.

3 thoughts on “Rare Rameau

  1. I suppose all Rameau is rare in this town…but this is the opera we learned on my undergrad course.

    Helas, what really breaks my heart is that this is on at the same time as the COC’s opening of Ballo (give or take an hour). How would one of Rameau’s heroes express their anguish at this dilemma? “Dieu! sauvez moi de votre caprice!” But i suppose to be true to the operas, i’d pluralize “Dieu” wouldn’t i…(?): Neff & Silva-Marin, in this case being the deities to whom i would beg for mercy, with Pynkoski perhaps mercifully throwing us a bone (aka an Opera Atelier production) someday.

    • Cripes! I had missed the date thing and will be at Ballo. I suppose it resolves a conflict as I was quite uncertain how I felt about going to see a Rameau piece in concert. They do seem to be so essentially stage works. In fact I only really got a taste for Rameau when appropriate stagings made me realise just how damn subversive he is. I would like to see Opera Atelier do some Rameau. He may be closer to their aesthetic than just about anybody else.

  2. Rameau created a sophisticated musical edifice in Hippolyte et Aricie and it has not really caught on with the wider, non-French public. It seems somehow too precious, too delicate, too French for consumption outside its native land.

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