Concert program Johann Christoph VOGEL
La Toison d’or (1784)
InterpretersLE CONCERT SPIRITUEL
CHORUS OF NUREMBERG OPERA
Hervé Niquet, conductor
Marie Kalinine, Médée
Jean-Sébastien Bou, Jason
Judith Van Wanroij, Hisiphile
Jennifer Borghi, la Sibilla
Hrachuhi Bassenz, Calciope
Tilman Lichdi, Arcas
The myth of Medea has inspired many operas, from Charpentier’s Médée to that of Pascal Dusapin, not forgetting Cherubini’s amazing piece, first performed in 1797. There was also Fontenelle’s Médée et Jason, Médée by George Hüe, and that of Vincent d'Indy. But the terrible sorceress is not always mentioned in the title, although she plays an important part in the drama. Gossec’s Thésée and Vogel’s La Toison d’or (The Golden Fleece) fall into that category.
The French operatic revival of the 1780s encouraged composers (not only French ones) to try their hand at composing in the style of the reformed tragédie lyrique. Johann Christian Bach, Sacchini, Salieri, Piccinni, Cambini, Cherubini, Steibelt, von Winter, and many others made their contributions, each presenting his vision of what that genre, regarded as over-conservative, should become. Within that context, Vogel’s début with La Toison d’or (1786) attracted much attention. The director of the Paris Opéra noted: ‘The libretto was read to the Committee twelve days ago and was highly appreciated. The music is by Monsieur Vogel, a German. So great is our enthusiasm for this work that we have hurried it into rehearsal, the music being of a new genre.’ That same director – Dauvergne – had recognised Gluck as the great reformer of French opera a few years previously. He was clearly a man of sure judgement, whose opinions are worth heeding now, as they were then.
For this modern revival, the Palazzetto Bru Zane, in partnership with the Nuremberg Opera and the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, has given the reins to Hervé Niquet and Le Concert Spirituel. With this ensemble’s keen commitment to the rediscovery of the operatic repertoire, we can expect an exceptional revival, full of energy and drama – values that were strongly advocated by Gluck himself.
Coproduzione Palazzetto Bru Zane / Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles / Internationale Gluck-Opern-Festspiele