Jean-Philippe Rameau’s first opera was premiered in a stable. Granted, it was the Royal Stable at Versailles, and probably more opulent than many a bourgeois salon. Two years older than JS Bach, Rameau represented a very different aspect of the Baroque. His music is theatrical, extravagant, witty, and dramatic, a reflection of the glittering excesses of the Parisian court.
Opera Lafayette begins its commemoration of the 250th anniversary of this remarkable composer’s death with a program devoted to his vocal and instrumental chamber works. Harpsichordists Olivier Baumont and Andrew Appel, violinist and artistic director Ryan Brown, and viola da gambist Kenneth Slowik join sopranos Gaële Le Roi and Kelly Ballou and baritone David Newman for a splendid recreation of a “Salon” concert of Rameau’s time.
Classical WETA’s Nicole Lacroix spoke with Ryan Brown about Rameau’s career, and what it’s like to perform his music at Carnegie Hall and Versailles.