‘La Fête du Ruel’ – still waiting, after 331 years

Annalisa Pappano

Annalisa Pappano

June 4, 7:30 p.m., First Unitarian Church, 536 Linton St., Mt. Auburn

Twelve days before the world premiere of “Fellow Travelers,” another opera debut will take place not far away, but with a twist: This opera was written in 1685.

Catacoustic Consort, founded and led by Annalisa Pappano, will premiere “La Fête du Ruel,” by one of the greatest composers of Baroque-era France, Marc-Antoine Charpentier.

“La Fête du Ruel” was commissioned by the Duc de Richelieu to honor King Louis XIV. Its intended debut was canceled, however, and the chamber opera has never been performed. Originally to have been a carefully planned extravaganza, “La Fête du Ruel” would have been the culmination of an all-night garden party, beginning at dawn, with the music proclaiming the rising of the sun. The Sun King, however, turned his attention to other courtiers at the last minute, failing to appear, and leaving Richelieu with debts and a lot of food. As a result, Charpentier’s music has been buried for 331 years.


Lecture: Insights into Baroque opera world premiere

June 1, 7 p.m., Cincinnati Main Library, 800 Vine St., downtown

Catacoustic presents a talk by University of Tulsa musicologist Dr. John Powell who will speak about the unique nature of this world premiere and provide insight into the political intrigue that contributed to the cancellation of the inaugural performance.

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