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Nicholas McGegan leads Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale, Soloists, and New York Baroque Dance Company in the Modern-Day Premiere of Rameau’s 1745 opera-ballet Le Temple de la Gloire (The Temple of Glorya Cal Performances Co-Production, April 28-30 in Zellerbach Hall

World-Premiere Production is Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale’s First-Ever Fully Staged Opera

 Free and Extensive Related Engagement Activities at Cal Performances Expand and Enhance Audience Experience

March 8, 2017, San Francisco – Nicholas McGegan, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale’s (PBO) Music Director, will lead PBO’s first-ever fully staged opera in a world-premiere production of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s original 1745 version of “Le Temple de la Gloire” (The Temple of Glory), with a libretto by Voltaire, April 28-30 at Cal Performances in Zellerbach Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. This modern-day premiere was created in partnership with Cal Performances and Le Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles. An international cast of soloists and the New York Baroque Dance Company join PBO for this lavish period production. In keeping with its Berkeley RADICAL programming initiative, Cal Performances will offer a day of free public engagement activities supporting the performances entitled “Rendezvous with Rameau” featuring a round table discussion with the co-producers of “Le Temple de la Gloire” (The Temple of Glory), a Rameau listening party, and a Baroque dance and music workshop, on Saturday, April 29, from 11am-5pm. A discussion of the extraordinary original 1745 manuscript score and libretto with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale music director Nicholas McGegan, UC Berkeley music library head John Shepard, and emeritus library head John Roberts takes place on the UC Berkeley campus on Tuesday, April 18 from 6-7:30pm. A pre-performance talk free to all ticketholders is offered on Friday, April 28.

Says Matías Tarnopolsky, director of Cal Performances, “To create a production of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s “Le Temple de la Gloire” using the extraordinary original source manuscript score and libretto in the collection of UC Berkeley’s Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library is to unleash a musical phoenix that has waited patiently to rise. To have the Bay Area’s own Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale, and its music director, Nicholas McGegan, as partners, imbues this rare musical journey, more than four years in the making, with the joy of deep artistic friendship, which elevates the endeavor immeasurably. That this multifaceted presentation acts perfectly as the rich culmination of Cal Performances’ Berkeley RADICAL initiative in the 2016-17 season, exploring the expansive beauty of the human voice, and enriched by myriad free-to-the-public engagement opportunities, underscores our core belief in the power of collaboration and our essential wish to open doors widely to the performing arts.”

This project has been a dream of Nicholas McGegan’s since he first learned of the existence of the original manuscript score and libretto for “Le Temple de la Gloire” at UC Berkeley’s Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library, the only existing copy of the 1745 version of this Rameau opera. After Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra recorded several movements from the score as part of its “Rameau Orchestral Suites” CD for Harmonia Mundi USA in the mid-1990s, McGegan hoped to one day mount a major production of the entire opera.

“Being able, finally, to be part of a fully staged production of “Le Temple de la Gloire” is the fulfilment of a dream for me. Nearly 25 years ago, Philharmonia recorded some of the dance music from this magnificent score and now, after many years and several attempts to see it staged, we are at last able to mount this major production. The score lives in the Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library, so it is a great thrill for me that we can perform this work on the UC Berkeley campus,” says McGegan.

The version of this “ballet-héroïque” that has been heard up until now is the second version, from the spring of 1746, which included changes Rameau made to please both the King, who was unhappy with the political undertones of the original 1745 version, and Parisian tastes at the time. The public wasn’t accustomed to experiencing an allegorical opera without a love story. Voltaire originally intended the work to be a philosophical reform of opera: an allegory centered on the idea of the Temple of Glory, and a grandiose spectacle with moral and political overtones.

Rameau’s music responds in full to the grandeur and seriousness of Voltaire’s libretto. The overture was much remarked upon at the time—this was the first time that two piccolos, two trumpets, two horns, and timpani made an appearance alongside the usual grouping of strings and reed instruments. This astonishing fanfare was clearly intended to evoke the glory of military might that is the pretext for the creation of the opera.

Despite the fact that McGegan and PBO have performed with numerous opera productions over the past 31 years, Philharmonia has never mounted a fully staged opera until now. Having worked with opera companies around the world, McGegan was able to recruit the additional necessary talent from around the globe to make this project a reality.

“It is terrific that Philharmonia is collaborating with several other organizations to put on this production. Cal Performances is producing the whole event on campus; Le Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles and its dynamic leader Benoît Dratwicki have provided the French members of the cast; the New York Baroque Dance Company is performing the ballets. Julien Dubruque has prepared a fine edition of the score. Catherine Turocy is staging and choreographing the work and Scott Blake is the set designer; both are friends of mine with whom I’ve worked for over 30 years. Bringing everyone together is like planning a large, celebratory party. There’s lots to do and lots to plan but in the end we’ll all have such fun,” says McGegan.

Additionally, lighting designer Pierre Dupouey from Paris will create Baroque-inspired lighting to bring the “Le Temple de la Gloire” to life while preeminent costume designer Marie Anne Chiment will create elaborate costumes designed to replicate those worn during the French Baroque period. Audiences can look forward to the full Baroque effect with all the drama and lavish ornamentation that one might expect from this sumptuous French Baroque opera score.


The plot centers around admission qualifications to an allegorical Temple of Glory, to which Apollo and other representatives of peace, happiness, and virtue spurn a succession of applicants from classical antiquity who represent envy, tyranny, militancy, and debauchery. The contrast of these vices with their corresponding virtues invites a panoply of musical styles and characterizations: demons and muses, shepherds and warriors, priestesses and satyrs. In the end, only the Roman Emperor Trajan is admitted by the goddess Glory to her temple, after he shows magnanimity in freeing his conquered captives. For the French monarch, fresh from victory on the battlefield, the opera was a cautionary tale rather than the apotheosis he expected.

More information about the history and plot of “Le Temple de la Gloire” can be found in Victor Gavenda’s article for the Cal Performances program book here.

Tickets for “The Temple of Glory” range from $30 to $120 and are available through Cal Performances. Visit or call (510) 642-9988 Tue–Fri, 12–5:30pm; Sat & Sun, 1–5pm; and approximately one hour prior to curtain. Closed Mon and some university holidays.

This performance is the sixth in a series of six regular 2016-17 season concerts that Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale present throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. It is also a featured event of Cal Performances 2016-17 Season.

Major support for “Le Temple de la Gloire” is generously provided to Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale by David Low & Dominique Lahaussois, The Waverley Fund, and Mark Perry and Melanie Peña. Foundation support is generously provided by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

This Cal Performances event is made possible, in part, by Patron Sponsors Susan Graham Harrison and Michael A. Harrison, and Francoise Stone; Additional support made possible, in part, by Corporate Sponsor U.S. Bank.


As part of its Berkeley RADICAL programming initiative, Cal Performances joins Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale in proudly presenting the modern-day premiere of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s 1745 opera-ballet “Le Temple de la Gloire” (The Temple of Glory) as a fully staged production for the first time since its 1745 premiere at Versailles. The magnificent libretto is by Voltaire. The original manuscript score and libretto of the work is housed at UC Berkeley’s Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library, making Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall the ideal setting for three spectacular performances. This co-production between Cal Performances, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale, and Le Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles—featuring an international cast of soloists and the New York Baroque Dance Company in a lavish period production —represents a collaboration years in the making. Additional events to enhance and expand the experience of “Le Temple de la Gloire” (The Temple of Glory) are offered for free and open to the public.


PROGRAM: Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683–1764), “Le Temple de la Gloire” (The Temple of Glory). Libretto by Voltaire.

WHAT: Modern-day premiere. World-premiere production. Fully staged opera.

WHO: Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Gabrielle Philiponet, soprano
Chantal Santon-Jeffery, soprano
Camille Ortiz-Lafont, soprano
Artavazd Sargsyan, haute-contre
Aaron Sheehan, haute-contre
Philippe-Nicolas Martin, baritone
Marc Labonnette, baritone
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale

New York Baroque Dance Company
Catherine Turocy, director
Philharmonia Chorale,
Bruce Lamott, director

Catherine Turocy, stage director and choreographer
Scott Blake, set designer
Marie Anne Chiment, costume designer
Pierre Dupouey, lighting designer

PHOTOGRAPHY: Available for download from Cal Performances online press room.

PRICE: Range from $30 to $120.

TICKETS: or (510) 642-9988


Friday April 28, 8pm
Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley

Saturday April 29, 8pm
Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley

Sunday April 30, 3pm
Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley


Round Table Discussion
Tue, Apr 18, 6-7:30pm

125 Morrison Hall, UC Berkeley
A lively consideration of the extraordinary original 1745 manuscript score and libretto for Rameau’s “Le Temple de la Gloire,” one of the great treasures in the collections of UC Berkeley’s Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library. With Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale music director Nicholas McGegan, library head John Shepard, and emeritus library head John Roberts. Free and open to the public. No pre-registration required.

Pre-performance Talk
Fri, April 28, 7
7:30 pm

Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley
“Le Temple de la Gloire” stage director and choreographer Catherine Turocy, director and co-founder of New York Baroque Dance Company will speak prior to the performance. Free to all ticketholders.

Rendezvous with Rameau
Sat, Apr 29 (details below)
Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley

A day of activities exploring this presentation of Rameau’s “Le Temple de la Gloire” (The Temple of Glory). Free and open to the public. Pre-registration at recommended beginning mid-March.

Baroque Dance and Music Workshop
Sat, Apr 29,  11am – 12:30pm
Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley

Led by members of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (PBO) and the New York Baroque Dance Company (NYBDC). Open to members of the public ages 16 and older.

Pre-registration at begins mid-March.

Resurrecting Rameau Opera for the Contemporary Stage
Sat, Apr 29,  2 – 3:30pm
Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley

Round table discussion with Benoît Dratwicki (Le Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles), Julien Dubruque (Rameau scholar), Nicholas McGegan (PBO), and Catherine Turocy (NYBDC), moderated by musicologist Victor Gavenda.

Pre-registration at begins mid-March.

Rameau Listening Party
Sat, Apr 29, 4 – 5pm
Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley

With Nicholas McGegan and Benoît Dratwicki

Pre-registration at begins mid-March.