Caldara: La Conversione Di Clodoveo / White, Lebla

Album cover art for upc 722056250528
Label: ATMA
Catalog: ACD2 2505
Format: CD


A. Caldara: La Conversione di Clodoveo, Re di Francia

Under the continued artistic leadership of Suzie Leblanc, music director Alexander Weimann and stage director Marie Nathalie Lacoursiere, Le Nouvel Opera is dedicated to the production and workshopping of repertoire from the baroque and classical periods in the form of Operas, serenatas, intermezzi, singspiel and other artforms where dance, theatre, commedia dell’arte, visual arts and singing are blended together into one spectacle. While deeply committed to an understanding of performance practice, part of the company’s mandate is to make this repertoire relevant to a modern audience by making as many connections as possible to contemporary life and culture. To this end, the company has made education an integral part of the company’s future plans.
Wholenote Discoveries - June 2011
Le Nouvel Opéra, a company directed by Suzie LeBlanc and Alexander Weimann, has contributed a stellar performance of a gem seldom heard. This oratorio by Antonio Caldara relates the story of the first Frankish king to convert to Christianity. It is characteristic of Caldara’s later Roman oratorios, set in the galant style for a small instrumental ensemble with singers chosen from the higher vocal ranges. Thus we have a cast of four: the pagan King Clovis sung by mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy; his devoutly Christian wife Clotilde sung by soprano Nathalie Paulin; his captain Uberto sung by countertenor Matthew White and the bishop Remigus sung by soprano Suzie LeBlanc. The artistry of the ensemble and the vocal beauty of these four voices and their marvellous interpretive skills in conveying dramatic changes (whilst somewhat confined to the da capo form) are remarkable. McHardy is a superb foil as the forceful warrior to Paulin’s tender charms as wife, LeBlanc’s patient and saintly monk and White’s steadfast captain. The small size of the ensemble and Weimann’s direction from the harpsichord and organ provides a masterful but sensitive accompaniment, allowing these superb voices to shine through brilliantly. Nowhere is this more evident than in the king and queen’s duet which takes place after the baptismal ritual, the two voices intertwining and signifying a true union of spirit. Dianne Wells
ATMA Classique presents the debut recording of Le Nouvel Opéra, a Montreal-based company under the artistic leadership of soprano Suzie LeBlanc, with music director Alexander Weimann and stage director Marie Nathalie Lacoursiere. Their inaugural recording features Antonio Caldara’s oratorio La Conversione di Clodoveo, Rè di Francia — a work the company first performed in Potsdam in 2005, celebrating the the milennial anniversary of Christianity in Germany. La Conversione di Clodoveo is scored for four solo voices and an ensemble of strings and winds. The all-Canadian cast on this recording features mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy in the role of Clodoveo; soprano Nathalie Paulin in the role of Clotilde, the king’s wife; Suzie LeBlanc as San Remigio; and countertenor Matthew White as Uberto. One of the most interesting and appealing composers of the Italian Baroque, Antonio Caldara was also one of the most prolific in the history of music. Caldara left several hundred works, including more than 80 operas, 38 oratorios, 100 cantatas, hundreds of motets, more than 20 masses, several sonatas, madrigals, and about 300 vocal canons.

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