Philharmonia Baroque goes all-out with staged Rameau opera

Posted on: April 14, 2017

“Words alone cannot convey the passion and over 25-year persistence of Nicholas McGegan. Fortunately, they don’t have to,” writes Lou Fancher on Thursday (4/12) at San Francisco Classical Voice. “As music director of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, McGegan brings a world-premiere to Zellerbach Hall on April 28–30, and the company’s first fully staged opera: Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Le Temple de la Gloire (The Temple of Glory). With Cal Performances and Centre de musique baroque de Versailles as co-producers, the 18th-century French composer’s opera-ballet with libretto by Voltaire is presented by the orchestra and chorale with guest soloists and the New York Baroque Dance Company.… Never before in its 31-year history has PBO presented a baroque opera complete with period costumes, a set design that is ‘a baroque theater built within a 21st-century airport hangar-like theater,’ … a Meyer sound system … and extended advisors who are experts in Rameau’s music, French literature, and history.… It creates a world McGegan likens to West Side Story. ‘It’s a wonderful mix. Incredibly ornate music, flying clouds with people in them, sheer extravagance in the costumes and dancing…. When everyone is finally onstage, it’s going to be … spectacular.’ ”

Posted April 14, 2017