2022 Festival Season Repertoire

Armide by Christoph Wilibald Gluck 
sung in French 

conductor: Eszter Horvath
stage directors: Andrew Pelrine and Nina Scott-Stoddart
pianist: Giancarlo Scalia
vocal coach: Maurren Batt
vocal coach: Angie Aldarondo

Performances August 11, 12, 13 (7:30 pm) and 14 (2:00 pm)
Lillian Piercey Concert Hall
Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts

Armide by Gluck  
Armide, a sorceressAgnès MénardMegan Cullen
Renaud, her enchanted lover, a crusader
Phénice, her friendAmanda GodinVivien Illion
Sidonie, her friendJoanna Loepp ThiessenClaire Hartlen
La Haine, the personification of HatredEmma YeeJoelle Kontos
Démone LucindeElizabeth FastClare Lowe
Démone MelisseMelanie Dupuis
Artemidore/Le chevalier danois, a crusaderAllan Krisna
Ubalde, a crusaderMarKo Hubert
Aronte/PlaisirAnna O'Drowsky
Naïde, a water nymphAnnika WilliamsJulia Jordan
La bergère, a shepherdessMaria GallaugherMegan Wakefield

In 1777, the French composer Christoph Willibald Gluck daringly decided to set Quinault’s libretto for Armide to music. It was daring, because the last composer who set this libretto was the immortal Lully, and with this choice Gluck was basically throwing down the gauntlet to claim mastery over French opera.

The original story is set in Syria during the Crusades. The sorceress Armide, along with the citizens of Damascus, hope to overcome the knight Renaud and his followers. She manages to ensnare her enemy with her magic spells, but, at the moment she raises her dagger to kill him, she finds herself falling in love with him. Armide casts a spell to Renaud him love her in return. Upon returning to her castle, she cannot bear that Renaud’s love is only the work of enchantment. She calls on the Goddess of Hate to restore her hatred for Renaud, but fails to escape from her feelings of love for him. The Goddess condemns Armide to eternal love. Before Armide can return to Renaud, two of his fellow soldiers overcome Armide’s enchantments, rescue Renaud and break Armide’s spell. Renaud manages to escape from Armide, who is left enraged, despairing, and hopeless.

It’s a story about a clash of cultures and about male versus female power, but most of all it’s about the many ways that love can enchant, confuse, torment and destroy us.

There are many wonderful roles for all voice types, and every role has at least a very nice featured solo. The music is mid-Classical, with flavours of Haydn, early Mozart and solid French style. We’ll be performing it in French from the edition downloadable from IMSLP (the Choudens Edition arranged by Louis Narici).

The participant fee for HSOF 2022 will be $1900 Canadian, which will cover all classes, coachings, and performances. The participating artist is responsible for travel to and room and board in Halifax for the duration of the program.