21 Jul LD Announces 2023-24 Season
Cleveland, OH – Cleveland’s “tiny powerhouse” Les Délices will celebrate their milestone 15th Anniversary Season with their most ambitious slate of concerts and programs to date. Encompassing four inventive subscription programs, special concerts, multiple touring engagements, the release of two new CDs, and continuation of their popular web series and podcast SalonEra, audiences in Northeast Ohio and beyond will have many opportunities to enjoy and engage with LD’s innovative and entertaining programming. Says Executive Director Laura Potter, “Our 15th anniversary season is absolutely jam-packed with fascinating programs that are guaranteed to delight long time LD patrons and new audiences alike. We are branching out in some creative directions, exploring new collaborations, formats and venues, and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Les Délices delights in bringing less well-known repertoire to light, or, as Les Délices’ Artistic Director and Founder Debra Nagy (pictured left) insists, “We perform music you won’t hear anywhere else!” Nagy continued, “I love how Les Délices’ audiences trust us to introduce them to performers and composers they weren’t aware of previously. I think it’s what keeps the experience fresh and exciting – not only for our audiences but also for our collaborating artists. We really delight in discovery and are interested in creating programs that get people thinking differently about music, culture, and history.”
Progressively widening its repertoire beyond music from the French Baroque to encompass Medieval music, Bach cantatas, Scottish Baroque and more, the ensemble is now celebrated for its unusually experimental programming, including newly commissioned works. In its 2023-2024 concert series, Les Délices presents a large-scale collaboration with acclaimed Kaleidoscope Vocal Ensemble, an intimate holiday program featuring soprano Amanda Powell, concerts of evocative French baroque music inspired by the Orpheus myth, and a daring take on Vivaldi’s beloved The Four Seasons.
LD’s season begins September 29-30th with performances of The Pow’r of Musick, a landmark collaboration between Les Délices and Kaleidoscope Vocal Ensemble, an all-star assembly of vocalists from across North America that celebrates racial, ethnic, and gender diversity through artistic residencies and educational outreach. This program, celebrating the power of music to uplift, inspire, and reflect deep emotions, features beloved choral works by English composer Henry Purcell and compelling new music by living composers Jonathan Woody, Sydney Guillaume, and Caroline Shaw. Performances will take place at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Cuyahoga Community College. These concerts will also feature singers from Cleveland School of the Arts who will work intensively with KVE and LD musicians in the lead-up to performances.
December 20-22nd brings the return of LD’s treasured holiday program, Noel, Noel, first released as a filmed concert in December of 2020. In these live performances, acclaimed local soprano Amanda Powell (pictured right) takes audiences on a musical journey from darkness to light and from hope to joy with favorite carols and festive baroque music by Praetorius, Merula, Buxtehude, and others. Performances will be held in three unique sacred spaces in Akron, Rocky River, and Cleveland Heights.
March 8-10th, LD presents Song of Orpheus, a program of French baroque cantatas inspired by the enduring myth of Orpheus and Euridice. Featuring bass-baritone Jonathan Woody and “luminous” mezzo-soprano Sophie Michaux in her LD debut, the singers will recount the story of Orpheus’ descent to the underworld, his charming of Hades, and his attempt to bring Eurydice back to the land of the living in rarely-heard cantatas by Jean-Philippe Rameau and Philippe Courbois. Concerts will be held at Knight Stage, Akron; Inlet Dance at Pivot Center for the Arts, Cleveland; and West Shore Unitarian Church in Rocky River. Projected English supertitles will be part of every performance. Post-concert receptions will be held following Friday and Saturday’s performances.
Les Délices closes its season April 12-14, 2024 with a thrilling new program inspired by Vivaldi’s beloved The Four Seasons. In Seasons Transformed, audiences will experience Vivaldi’s classic works daringly reimagined for flute, oboe, bassoon, a pair of violins, and continuo along with a world-premiere concerto-pastiche inspired by Summer. Featuring flutist Joseph Monticello (pictured left) and bassoonist Clay Zeller-Townson in their LD debuts. Performances will be at Knight Stage, Akron; Disciples Christian Church, Cleveland Heights; and West Shore Unitarian Church in Rocky River.
In addition to its four concert series programs, Les Délices will present free concerts in November to celebrate the release of two new CDs: The Highland Lassie and Noel, Noel. The ensemble’s harpsichordist, Mark Edwards, takes center stage in February 2024 for a special performance of J.S. Bach’s enigmatic masterpiece, The Goldberg Variations. As part of the fourth season of LD’s award-winning web series and podcast, SalonEra, Clevelanders will also have two opportunities to attend SalonEra Sessions, a new SE live-taping experience that will be hosted at the historic Heights Theater on September 29th, 2023 and February 17, 2024 (more details TBA). The ensemble’s 2023-24 touring engagements include Music from the Western Reserve’s fall season and concerts in Honolulu and Kona for Early Music Hawaii.
Concert subscriptions ($125-200) and Single Tickets ($28-$45) will go on sale via Les Délices’ website (www.lesdelices.org) on August 15, 2023.