We at COT produced the first Charpentier in Chicago (Médée) last year, and now we have another one by the excellent upstart Haymarket Opera Company, the brainchild of Craig Trompeter, a regular member of COT's orchestra when we employ early music specialists. This is La Déscente d'Orphée aux Enfers, probably written during 1685, the year of the birth of Handel and J S Bach, and first performed the following year.
The Haymarket company follows the practice of Toronto's Opera Atelier in seeking to recreate the sights as well as the sounds of the 17th century. And so, as you can see from my photos here, they have plausible 17th century costumes and scenery. This formula has been extremely successful and popular in Toronto, and I have no doubt it will be here as well. This is just their second production, and I was delighted to get to the dress rehearsal this afternoon having been unable to see their début production of Handel's Aci, Galatea e Polifemo last fall.
They have the good fortune to have Marc Molomot, a first class haut-contre, in the title r?le. If you are in Chicago, do go along to the Mayne Stage, just by the Morse El station on the Red Line. There are performances tomorrow and Saturday, both sold out, but they are adding an additional one at 10pm on Saturday. How about that?!
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