TREASURES OF ITALIAN BAROQUE. MONTEVERDI AND VENETIAN OPERA
Liepāja City Council
European Regional Development Fund
For the first time at the Liepāja Concert Hall Great Amber, a golden repertoire of Italian baroque will be performed by the leading baroque music experts from France. This time, the brilliant soprano Claire Lefilliâtre returns with the ensemble Les Épopées, led by conductor Stéphane Fuget, to perform opera gems by the great Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi and his contemporaries.
Claudio Monteverdi is without a doubt among the greatest masters of the seventeenth century whose incredibly harmonious and moving language of music will be performed at the Concert Hall for the first time. The composer has left a lasting legacy in the development of the opera genre in the music history of Western Europe. With his world-famous L’’Orfeo (1607), Monteverdi was present right at the moment of the birth of opera and has influenced generations of composers throughout the ages.
Initially, opera was performed for a small segment of society, mostly in the private courts of nobles, nevertheless, the new genre gained massive recognition and opera developed in Venice rather swiftly. Opera productions became available to the public around the city, and several opera houses opened. Many composers took on the challenge of this new genre, which gradually spread all over Europe.
Les Épopées have created their latest program, which will only be performed in Liepāja among the Baltic States, inspired by Monteverdi’s opulent body of works as well as the music of the composer’s contemporaries at the early stages of Venetian opera. “We are presenting a quick course in Venetian opera, showing both fragments of Monteverdi’s both genius operas and several opera gems which have perhaps not been performed in public since the seventeenth century,” the ensemble describe the program.
Alongside Monteverdi’s works, the concert will also feature music by his student Francesco Cavalli. He composed operas almost exclusively, however, he was joined by other talented composers as the opera genre blossomed in arias and passionate recitativos. Sartorio, Pallavicino, and Legrenzi will be among the most famous, but lesser-known composers such as Ziani and Freschi also deserve attention.
Stéphane Fuget is a harpsichordist, pianist, and conductor. He has been the vocal coach at the best opera houses of the world and worked as a conductor on the greatest international stages such as the Staatsoper and Theater an der Wien, the Opéra Bastille, the Leipzig Opera, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, and many others. Driven by his desire to work with young artists, he developed and transformed the only classes for vocal education and baroque opera in France, available at the City Conservatory of Paris, to polish and develop his vision of the declamation and ornament of baroque.
After many years of researching repertoires and tracts, Stéphane Fuget created his own ensemble, Les Épopées, who offer a new vision for interpreting baroque opera. As training and passing on experience are at the heart of this project, a large proportion of the ensemble’s artists used to be his students (47% of the singers and 40% of the instrumentalists), amongst the most talented of their generation who can perform a baroque-era repertoire phenomenally.
Claire Lefilliâtre | soprano
Isabelle Druet | mezzo-soprano
Mélodie Ruvio | alto
Cyril Auvity | tenor
Stéphane Fuget | conductor, harpsichord
Hélène Houzel | violin
Sophie Iwamura | violin
Claire Gautrot | viola da gamba
Alice Coquart | cello
Léa Masson | theorbo