Les Délices News

From ClevelandClassical.com:

Les Délices, who devoted a program last season to Mozart’s earlier and happier visit in 1763-1764, updated his Parisian saga last weekend in four concerts featuring fortepianist Sylvia Berry. The performances launched the tenth season of one of Northeast Ohio’s most distinguished ensembles.

The large audience responded to the splendid playing during this well-planned, 90-minute travelogue with a long ovation. Many moved on to Edwins in Shaker Square afterwards to celebrate Les Délices’s tenth anniversary with a benefit evening. Joyeux dixième anniversaire!

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Les Delices expands its palette with eclectic 10th anniversary season

“We’ve far exceeded my expectations,” Nagy said. “At first, I was just trying to make a musical home for myself. But it’s become much more than that. Now it’s about sharing with the community.”

The truth of that claim is easy to verify. Look no further than Nagy’s plans for the 2018-19 season, which for the first time entail a complete series in Akron.

A new, eclectic year begins Saturday with a novel “Fortepiano Day” and concludes in April with a world premiere. In between come a second program devoted to Mozart, Charpentier’s Midnight Mass, and a multi-media collaboration with Chicago’s Newberry Consort bringing to life the Leuven Songbook, a tiny, 15th-century treasure only discovered in 2014.

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Sylvia Berry at the Broadwood Piano (1806)

A tenth anniversary is a big deal, and the Cleveland-based period instrument ensemble Les Délices will celebrate that milestone in style. “We’ve got a lot of things going on over the next two weeks,” Les Délices founder and artistic director Debra Nagy said during a telephone conversation.

The festivities will kick off on Saturday, September 29 in Herr Chapel at Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights with Fortepiano Day. During the daylong event, with fortepianist Sylvia Berry as their guide, audiences will discover the spirit and nuance of the instrument Mozart and Haydn would have used.

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We’re thrilled to announce details for our celebratory 10th anniversary season in 2018-19, which includes exciting concert programs, the release of our 4th CD “Songs without Words,” increased community outreach and special initiatives, and the expansion of the concert series to Akron.

We’re pleased to present four new subscription programs in 2018-19. The season begins with a return to Mozart’s creative time in the City of Light with a delightful new program featuring acclaimed American fortepianist Sylvia Berry in Mozart in Paris 2 (October 4-7, 2018). Les Délices will also once again join forces with Quire Cleveland for a beautiful and jubilant holiday favorite Charpentier’s Midnight Mass (December 21-23, 2018). In January, Les Délices breathes new life into recently-discovered music from the 15th-century in Leuven Songbook in a multi-media production in collaboration with Chicago’s Newberry Consort (January 18-20, 2019). Finally, the ensemble pairs nature-inspired music from the 18th & 21st centuries in The Elements, featuring Rebel’s masterpiece with a world premiere for period instruments by composer Theo Chandler (April 5-7, 2019). In addition to subscription programs, the ensemble’s season includes four national tours, two regional performances, and free community programs for audiences in partnership with St John’s in Ohio City, the BOP STOP, and Cleveland Public Library.

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CLEVELAND, February 12, 2018 – Les Délices has announced the appointment of Carol Lee Iott to the organization’s newly created role of General Manager. Ms. Iott begins her tenure on February 12.

Carol Lee Iott

Carol Lee Iott

As General Manager, Carol Lee Iott will conduct the business operations of Les Délices while working together with Artistic Director Debra Nagy to meet strategic goals and position the organization for future growth. She will be responsible for fund development, marketing, event production, and general administration for the organization.

Ms. Iott comes to Les Délices after serving eleven years with the Cleveland Orchestra in the roles of Director of Strategy and Special Initiatives from 2014-2017 and Director of Orchestra Personnel from 2005-2014. Prior to that, she served as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Director of Orchestra Personnel from 1995-2005. She also currently consults with arts and culture organizations in the Cleveland area. Ms. Iott holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Otterbein University in Westerville, OH, and a Master of Arts in Music Business Management from Columbia College in Chicago.

Commenting on the appointment, Les Délices Artistic Director Debra Nagy said, “Carol Lee Iott brings a wealth of arts management experience and perspective to this new position. Her extensive background with the Cleveland Orchestra makes her an asset for our organization. It is my pleasure to welcome Carol Lee to Les Délices.”

Les Délices (Debra Nagy, director) and Northeast Ohio’s premiere chamber choir Quire Cleveland (Ross Duffin, director) will join forces April 27-29 for three performances of Let the Heavens Rejoice, an exciting new program of French Baroque music for chorus and orchestra. Featuring resplendent, rarely-heard grand motets by Rameau and Mondonville, the modern premiere of a stunning solo for tenor and orchestra, and a fabulous 11-voice work for voices by Charpentier – this is a not-to-be-missed program!

Les Délices and Quire offer performances Friday April 27, 2018 at 7:30pm at St. Noel Church (35200 Chardon Rd, Willoughby Hills), Saturday April 28, 2018 at 8pm at Lakewood Congregational Church (1375 W Clifton Blvd, Lakewood), and Sunday April 29, 2018 at 4pm (pre-concert lecture by Debra Nagy at 3pm) in the Sanctuary at Plymouth Church UCC (2860 Coventry Rd., Shaker Heights).

Several special guests with strong Cleveland connections make contributions to this program: Les Délices regular (and director of Boston’s acclaimed vocal ensemble Blue Heron) Scott Metcalfe will serve as guest conductor, the “lovely high tenor” Owen McIntosh returns to sing the modern premiere of Lefebvre’s Conserva me, and baritone Jeffrey Strauss (a frequent guest with Apollo’s Fire) will contribute solos in the Mondonville and Rameau.

Considering Quire Cleveland’s focus on introducing audiences to choral music not heard in the modern era and Les Délices’ penchant for rarely-heard instrumental music, an artistic collaboration between the two groups was an obvious choice. Les Délices’ artistic director Debra Nagy explained, “It’s a thrill to be able to share music with audiences that’s more ambitious than what either ensemble to could do on its own. For this project, Les Délices will expand to a small orchestra of 13 supporting Quire’s ensemble of just over 20 singers. I’ve long admired Ross Duffin and Beverly Simmons’ work with Quire and am so glad to be able to do this!”

Ross Duffin adds, “Debra Nagy has made a huge success of Les Délices, entertaining Northeast Ohio audiences with outstanding and, in many cases, completely unheard repertoire from the French Baroque. Quire eagerly anticipates our collaboration with Les Délices for this fantastic program. We plan to make the heavens rejoice!”

Let the Heavens Rejoice is inspired by original concert programs from the premiere concert series in 18th-century Paris know as Le Concert Spirituel. Le Concert Spirituel provided entertainment when the opera was closed – especially around religious holidays or during Lent. Though the opera was shuttered, entertainment (rather than piety) remained the central draw. As a result, programs generally included grand works for chorus and orchestra with Latin texts (with solos performed by stars from the opera), dazzling showpieces for soloists, and impressive instrumental simphonies.

The grand works for chorus and orchestra were known as Grand Motets. Though a mainstay of the concert repertory in France throughout the 18th Century, Grand Motets are only rarely heard today. For Let the Heavens Rejoice, Les Délices and Quire Cleveland will perform Jean-Philippe Rameau’s grand motet “In Convertendo,” and Joseph Cassanea de Mondonville’s “Venite Exultemus.” Complete with impressive choruses, brilliant orchestral effects, and virtuosic vocal solos, these works were performed dozens of times in their heyday.

Do you ever wonder what happens in a musical rehearsal? What about the difference between a piano and harpsichord? Want to see a harp up close and personal?

Les Délices is excited to announce free community programs during the 2017-18 season that provide a variety of ways for audiences to experience their music.

The LD@Work series provides a fresh perspective on creative artists’ process: people can simply drop in to these informal, working rehearsals as we prepare for public concerts. Repeated listening also provides additional insight into the music.

LD@Play is Les Délices’ series of family-oriented programs on Saturday afternoons. These free interactive programs last 45 minutes and are designed for children aged 5-12. Our January 13, 2018 program Medieval Dance Party will introduce young audiences to medieval instruments and teach them medieval dance steps. Meet the Harp on March 10, 2018 will feature special guest artist Maria Cleary, introducing improvisation and her incredible harp.

Les Délices will collaborate with a wide variety of community partners for their LD Steps Out series in 2017-18. Les Délices will present free concerts on November 1 and Dec 15, 2017 at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood, where the ensemble established an Artist Residency in 2016. They will also partner with Cleveland Public Library and A Place For Us to present programs in branch libraries and mobile locations on October 20, 2017 and January 12, 2018. These free community performances in intimate spaces will allow audiences of all ages to listen to, learn about, and respond to Les Délices’ work in myriad ways.

Les Délices’ director Debra Nagy is an Ohio City resident and feels strongly about reaching out to the Cleveland community,The primary goals for Les Délices’ community programs are to build awareness of chamber music performance, expand our audience, increase visibility for Cleveland artists, and bring high-quality programming to underserved neighborhoods.”

Known for their creative, original programming, Les Délices has been recognized as “an early music group with an avant-garde appetite,” whose “concerts and recordings are journeys of discovery” (New York Times).

View Upcoming Outreach Events.

Now entering their 9th year, Les Délices is looking forward to an ambitious season complete with multiple Ohio premieres, international guest artists, new venues, and a large-scale collaboration with Quire Cleveland. 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).

In 2017-18, Les Délices will present four new subscription programs, record their fourth CD, perform four national tours, and present lots of free community programming in and around Cleveland. Their Cleveland concert series will see violinist Julie Andrijeski dazzle with virtuosic music of the Parisian counterculture of 1700 in Inspired by Italy on October 21 & 22, 2017, will transport audiences to another world with Intoxicating on January 13 & 14, 2018, will imagine the legendary queen of Carthage from three emotional and musical perspectives with Dido’s Lament on March 10 & 11, 2018, and will Let the Heavens Rejoice April 27-29, 2018 as Les Délices teams up with Quire Cleveland for gorgeous, rarely-heard works for chorus & orchestra by Rameau and Mondonville.

Artistic director Debra Nagy commented, “I’m thrilled to be presenting lots of “new-to-you” music during the 2017-18 season – such as our Inspired by Italy program in the fall and a weird and wonderful new Medieval show in January. We’re also looking forward to performing well-known works (like Purcell’s famous lament from Dido & Aeneas) in March and to our April collaboration with Quire Cleveland. What I love most about Les Délices is our adventurous, exploratory programs; I want to provide as rich and interesting an experience for our audiences as possible.”

Les Délices’ 9th season will also see several new guest artists and new initiatives. Nagy explained, “I’m very excited to bring the incredible Irish harpist Maria Cleary to Cleveland in March, and it will be terrific to feature Cleveland’s own Julie Andrijeski in a violin-centric program in October.”

Les Délices is also moving their Saturday night performances to new venues. Their October 21, 2017 concert will move to Pilgrim Congregational Church in Tremont, a fabulous community resource (and home to the Arts Renaissance Tremont series). In January, March, and April, Les Délices will present Saturday evening concerts at Lakewood Congregational Church, whose warm acoustics also host concerts by CityMusic Cleveland. Nagy commented, “These venues are well-known to concert-goers, will be a great match for our music, allow for easy access and parking, and will enable our audiences to grow.”

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.

“The music is beautiful, alternating between haunting and jolly, and the narration is engagingly colloquial (“He’s as clueless as a caged bird”). In addition to playing splendidly, the musicians displayed a wry sense of humor, imitating bird songs in a garden scene and making trumpet sounds to herald the beginning of a feast. The first “Kyrie” from Machaut’s Messe de Nostre Dame made you want to hear this group perform the whole setting. And Estampies that Nagy arranged from other Machaut tunes sounded completely authentic.” – Dan Hathaway for ClevelandClassical.com

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“More than just another concert, “Remedy,” a tale of love and woe based on the music of Medieval master Guillame de Machaut, was a rich, multi-media experience, a treat for the eyes as well as the ears. For two hours Sunday, listeners were treated to a modern version of the sort of courtly entertainment royals might have enjoyed some 700 years ago.” – Zachary Lewis for the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

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“Debra Nagy’s deft programming and Les Délices’ flawless but laid-back execution make music of the French Baroque instantly accessible to modern audiences. People who know something about the period will never feel talked down to, and neophytes have nothing to fear.” – Dan Hathaway for ClevelandClassical.com

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