October 8, 2019 – Acclaimed early music ensemble Les Délices, under the artistic direction of Debra Nagy, will bring a little-known 17th-century fairytale to life for Northeast Ohio audiences in April 2020 as a winning project of the 2019 Knight Arts Challenge Akron. Their innovative, multi-media production featuring music, puppetry, and visual display was one of sixteen projects to receive support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in an award ceremony on Wednesday, September 25 at the Akron Art Museum.

“We are incredibly honored to have our Fables and Fairytales project selected by Knight Foundation,” said Les Délices Artistic Director Debra Nagy. “The investment will provide support for the show’s development and performances and will help subsidize free and discounted tickets for children and seniors for matinee performances in Akron.”

Celebrating generosity, ingenuity, and the power of love, Fables and Fairytales will provide audiences with multiple points of entry to storytelling that connects rich history to our contemporary world. This multi-media performance will evoke the experience of visiting Louis XIV’s famous labyrinth at Versailles (where a series of life-like fountains embodied Aesop’s fables) and invites us to enter the imagination of Marie-Catherine D’Aulnoy, author of the 17th-Century fairy tale The White Cat (a feminist re-write of Puss in Boots). The artistic collaboration will feature Baroque music with modern lyrics, live puppetry designed by Ian Petroni (an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award-winner) and visual projections by musicologist and designer Shawn Keener.

Les Délices will present a total of four performances at the Akron Art Museum on April 23 & 24: two matinee performances of The White Cat and two performances of its companion presentation Into The Labyrinth. Les Délices will also present a matinee performance of The White Cat on April 25 at the Breen Center in Cleveland and Into the Labyrinth on April 26 at Temple Tifereth Israel in Beachwood. Kids 17 and under are admitted free to matinee performances of The White Cat with an accompanying adult ticket.

“Our Fables and Fairytales project is our most complex and innovative production to date, and we are grateful to Knight Foundation for their generous support,” said Nagy. “Les Délices is committed to developing and presenting unique and inspiring early music performances and to making our music accessible to broad audiences throughout Akron and Northeast Ohio.”

Ticket information and program details are available at www.lesdelices.org or by calling (216)302-8404.


Les Délices (pronounced Lay day-lease) explores the dramatic potential and emotional resonance of long-forgotten music. Founded by baroque oboist Debra Nagy in 2009, Les Délices has established a reputation for their unique programs that are “thematically concise, richly expressive, and featuring composers few people have heard of.” The New York Times added, “Concerts and recordings by Les Délices are journeys of discovery.” The group’s debut CD was named one of the “Top Ten Early Music Discoveries of 2009” (NPR’s Harmonia), and their performances have been called “a beguiling experience” (Cleveland Plain Dealer) “astonishing” (ClevelandClassical.com), and “first class” (Early Music America Magazine). Let Délices made its New York debut before a sold-out audience at the Frick Collection in May 2010. Highlights from recent seasons included performances for Music Before 1800, Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, San Francisco Early Music Society, the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments, and at Columbia University’s Miller Theater. In addition to touring engagements, Les Délices presents its own annual four-concert series in Akron, Lakewood, and at Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights, OH, where the group is Artist in Residence. Their critically acclaimed 4th CD, “Songs without Word,” was released in November 2018. Visit www.lesdelices.org for more information.

“A baroque oboist of consummate taste and expressivity” (Cleveland Plain Dealer) with a musical approach that’s “distinctly sensual…pliant, warm, and sweet,” (New York Times), director Debra Nagy is one of North America’s leading performers on the baroque oboe. She plays principal oboe with the Handel & Haydn Society, Apollo’s Fire, and American Bach Soloists, and is a regular guest with other ensembles around the country. Following studies at the Oberlin Conservatory, Conservatory of Amsterdam, and Case Western Reserve University, Debra has received many awards for her creative and scholarly pursuits including first-prize in the American Bach Soloists Young Artist Competition, a 2009 Workforce Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and a 2010 Creative Workforce Fellowship from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. She has recorded over 30 CDs with repertoire ranging from 1300-1800 on the Chandos, Avie, CPO, Capstone, Bright Angel, Naxos, and ATMA labels, and has had live performances featured on CBC Radio Canada, Klara (Belgium), NPR’s Performance Today, WQXR (New York City) and WGBH Boston.


Media Contact:
Carol Lee Iott
(216) 302-8404