The Metropolitan Opera and The Juilliard School jointly announced plans today for a semi-staged concert performance of Gluck's Armide, the second collaboration between the two institutions, following last season's acclaimed new production of The Bartered Bride, conducted by James Levine and staged by Stephen Wadsworth. Jane Glover, a well-known specialist in music of the Classical and Baroque periods, will conduct. The performances will take place in Juilliard's Peter Jay Sharp Theater on Wednesday, February 8 and Saturday, February 11, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. Fabrizio Melano will direct the semi-staged concert version, with Kate Ashton as lighting designer and David Moody as chorus master. Glover will lead the Juilliard Orchestra and a cast featuring current members and graduates of both the Met's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and the Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at Juilliard. Armide will be sung in the original French with principal music and language preparation by Denise Massé. Casting will be announced at a later date.
The Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and The Juilliard School Partnership was announced in February 2008. The Lindemann Young Artist Development Program is under the leadership of James Levine, artistic director, and Brian Zeger, executive director. Zeger is also artistic director of the Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at Juilliard. This collaboration aims to use the resources of both institutions to identify and educate the finest young opera singers and collaborative pianists for careers in the world's great opera houses.
Armide, with music by Christoph Willibald Gluck and a libretto by Philippe Quinault, premiered in Paris in 1777. Despite its reputation as one of Gluck's finest works, the Met has only presented it in 1910 and 1912. However, those performances, which marked the opera's United States premiere, featured an illustrious cast led by Arturo Toscanini and included Olive Fremstad,
Enrico Caruso, Alma Gluck, Louise Homer, and Pasquale Amato.
Jane Glover is currently Music Director of Chicago's Music of the Baroque and Artistic Director of Opera at London's Royal Academy of Music. She is best known for her conducting of operas by Mozart, Handel, and Monteverdi, but her repertoire is very broad, encompassing many works of Britten as well as pieces by contemporary composers such as Oliver Knussen and
Peter Maxwell Davies. She has regularly appeared in major opera houses such as the Royal Opera Covent Garden, English National Opera, Berlin State Opera, Glyndebourne Festival, Royal Danish Opera, Opéra du Rhin (Strasbourg), Bordeaux Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, New York City Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Opera Australia, and La Fenice, Venice, as well as with many major international orchestras. Her book, Mozart's Women, was published in 2005 and nominated for both the Samuel Johnson Prize and the Whitbread Prize for Non-Fiction. She is currently writing a book on Handel.
Fabrizio Melano is an established figure on the international opera scene, having worked with leading opera houses throughout the world for more than 25 years. He began a long-standing relationship with the Metropolitan Opera in 1970, and has since staged new production premieres of Pelléas et Mélisande, Norma (with Renata Scotto), and Puccini's Il Trittico, La Bohème, and Madama Butterfly. The director's extensive work also includes new productions for Lyric Opera of Chicago, New York City Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, and Opera Company of Philadelphia. In April 2010 he directed Juilliard Opera's fully-staged production of