Pierre Gaveaux: Leonore, ou L'Amour conjugal
Libretto by Jean-Nicolas Bouilly
Kimy Mc Laren and Pascale Beaudin
Jean-Michel Richer and Keven Geddes
Opera Lafayette Chorus and Orchestra / Ryan Brown
A political prisoner awaits death in his cell. A woman puts herself in mortal danger to seek justice. With its atmosphere of revolution and tale of devotional romance and a dramatic rescue from captivity, Pierre Gaveaux’s Léonore, ou L’Amour conjugal was the direct forerunner to Beethoven’s Fidelio. Having been entirely overshadowed by its famous successor and lain hidden for centuries, this both darkly sombre and entertainingly celebratory opéra comique is seen here in an acclaimed modern premiere whose timeless and inspiring story of female heroism and political injustice is as relevant today as ever.
Musicologist Julia Doe described Pierre Gaveaux’s Léonore, ou L’Amour conjugal as “one of the most famous pieces of lyric theater that virtually no contemporary audiences have ever witnessed.” With Opera Lafayette’s mission of presenting rediscovered 18th century French operatic repertoire it was only a matter of time before this neglected ‘fait historique’ became part of their performance schedule, and with its striking look and intriguing symbolism this production really is something both significant in operatic history and special in its own right.
This production was widely admired in the press. “The music was charming, made more so by the fine performances. Conductor Ryan Brown assembled a strong, consistent cast, anchored by Kimy Mc Laren in the title role. Her supple soprano projected with more ease than her colleagues’ voices, though none were inferior… Pascale Beaudin (Marceline), Tomislav Lavoie (Roc), Keven Geddes (Jacquino), and Dominique Côté (Pizare) all sported clean, healthy voices… The orchestra was very good as well; the musicians are specialists in early-music performance, and though the string players used vibrato arbitrarily and inconsistently, the wind players coped expertly with their often-balky period instruments, producing delightful sonorities. Oriol Tomas’s staging was conventional but effective…” (The Washington Post)
Through his work with Opera Lafayette, Ryan 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. He was widely lauded
for the modern premiere and recording of Félicien David’s 1862
Lalla Roukh, a seminal work of musical Orientalism. His frequent performances
of Italian works by Haydn, Mozart, Paisiello, and Cimarosa have also met with
|Release Period||December 2018|