Now entering their 8th Season, Les Délices is looking forward to shaking things up with some significant departures from the ensemble’s core Baroque repertory in the coming year. Known for their creative, original programming, Les Délices (pronounced Lay day-lease) has been recognized as “an early music group with an avant-garde appetite,” whose “concerts and recordings are journeys of discovery” (New York Times).
Artistic director Debra Nagy explained, “2016-17 will be Les Délices’ most varied season ever! We’ll be presenting music ranging from Machaut to Mozart to Clérambault and even a few jazz standards! This is what I love about Les Délices – our adventurous, exploratory programs – and I want to provide as rich and interesting an experience for our audiences as possible.”
Subscriptions ($63-$120) and Single Tickets ($25-$35) for all concerts in the series will go on sale August 1 at www.lesdelices.org. Student Tickets ($5) are always available at the door.
Les Délices’ 8th season will also see several new initiatives and new guest artists. Nagy explained, “I’m very excited to feature several new artists for the first time: Eric Milnes is an exceptionally versatile and creative keyboardist who will join us for our crossover program in October, while the fantastic cellist Elinor Frey will join us in January for Mozart in Paris. Mozart in Paris also marks the first time Les Délices will perform Classical-era music on period instruments. In March, we’ll present our first-ever multi-media production complete with supertitles and projected images. Our first collaboration with Blue Heron in 2014 was such a success that we wanted to build on that work and bring Medieval music back to our Cleveland audience. I’m also excited about our expanded outreach programming and a new home for those programs at St. John’s Episcopal in Ohio City.”
In 2016-17, Les Délices will present four new subscription programs, release their third CD, perform two national tours, and present expanded outreach programming in and around Cleveland. For their subscription series in Cleveland, Les Délices will present timeless melodies and inspired improvisations in Songs without Words on October 15 & 16, 2016, create a new context for the famous composer with Mozart in Paris on January 21 & 22, 2017, showcase a medieval musical-poetic masterpiece in collaboration with Boston’s Blue Heron for Machaut’s Remede de Fortune (March 11 & 12, 2017), and tell tales of Fated Lovers on April 8 & 9, 2017.
Songs without Words. Les Délices’ director & baroque oboist Debra Nagy expands the repertoire for her instrument with timeless songs whose emotionally-charged melodies stir the passions and inspire improvisation with echoes of jazz. This intimate program of original arrangements and improvisations will breathe new life into torch songs spanning the 17th to 20th Centuries. Music by Michel Lambert, Marin Marais, Billy Strayhorn, Nina Simone, and more. Les Délices will present this program on Saturday October 15, 2016 at 8pm at SPACES (2220 Superior Viaduct, Cleveland) and on Sunday October 16, 2016 at 4pm at Herr Chapel at Plymouth Church UCC (2860 Coventry Rd., Shaker Heights) (pre-concert lecture at 3pm).
Mozart in Paris. Europe’s most fashionable city should have been ripe for the young Mozart’s picking but the strong-willed composer lost out when he refused to network with influential people or accommodate French tastes. Montreal-based cellist Elinor Frey joins Les Délices for this special program that pairs chamber music by Mozart for oboe & strings with Paris’s toasts of the town – Boccherini, Gluck, and more. Fascinated by the cello’s origins and the creative process of new music, Elinor Frey plays both period and modern instruments. Her most recent disc of early Classical sonatas from Berlin won the 2015 Québec Opus Prize for Early Music CD of the year. 2731 Prospect Gallery (2731 Prospect Ave, Cleveland) will host this program on Saturday January 21, 2017 at 8pm with a repeat performance at Herr Chapel at Plymouth Church UCC (2860 Coventry Rd., Shaker Heights) on January 22, 2017 at 4pm (pre-concert lecture at 3pm).
Machaut’s Remede de Fortune. Les Délices teams up once again with Boston’s acclaimed Blue Heron (Scott Metcalfe, dir.) to present Guillaume de Machaut’s Remede de Fortune (c. 1440). One of Machaut’s musical-poetic masterpieces, the Remede relates the story of a bumbling lover who – with help from Hope and by Fortune’s good grace – ultimately gets the girl. Don’t miss this special program complete with projected supertitles and gorgeous manuscript images illustrating the story. The Saturday evening concert will take place at 8pm at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ohio City (2600 Church Ave, Cleveland) on March 11, 2017. Les Délices repeats the program inside Herr Chapel at Plymouth Church UCC (2860 Coventry Rd., Shaker Heights) on March 12, 2017 at 4pm (pre-concert lecture at 3pm). In addition, Les Délices will present a free Family Concert on Saturday March 11, 2016 at the BOP STOP (2920 Detroit Rd, Cleveland) at 3pm.
Fated Lovers. Les Délices returns to their French Baroque roots for the final concert of their 8th season with two evocative cantatas by Louis-Nicolas Clérambault (Pyrame et Thisbé and Leandre et Héro) plus excerpts from Rameau’s groundbreaking opera Hippolyte et Aricie that relate the timeless tales of star-crossed lovers. Just as in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, true love sometimes ends with the ultimate sacrifice. This new program brings back two of Les Délices’ favorite soloists: soprano Clara Rottsolk (“supple and stylish…unflaggingly attractive” – Gramophone) and tenor Jason McStoots (“an exquisite singer and a fine actor” – Cleveland Plain Dealer). Les Délices returns to the Galleries at CSU on Saturday April 8, 2017 at 8pm, and repeats their program at inside Herr Chapel at Plymouth Church UCC (2860 Coventry Rd., Shaker Heights) on Sunday April 9, 2017 at 4pm (pre-concert lecture at 3pm).
Les Délices is a small ensemble that makes a big impact with entertaining, thought-provoking programs presented in unique and intimate settings that enhance the listening experience. Les Délices’ informal gallery concerts celebrate Cleveland’s flourishing arts community and simulate a salon atmosphere similar to the one in which this music was first heard and enjoyed. Saturday evening concerts are followed by a wine and cheese reception and conversation with the artists. Sunday afternoon concerts are preceded by pre-concert lectures starting at 3pm, and are presented in the gorgeous acoustics of Plymouth Church’s Herr Chapel in Shaker Heights, where Les Délices is Artist in Residence.