Rameau: Le Temple de la Gloire


Le Temple de la Gloire
(The Temple of Glory)

Opera in three acts with a prologue
Libretto by Voltaire
Original 1745 Version

Nicholas McGegan, music director and conductor
Bruce Lamott, chorale director

Marc Labonnette, baritone
Philippe-Nicolas Martin, baritone
Camille Ortiz, soprano
Gabrielle Philiponet, soprano
Chantal Santon-Jeffery, soprano
Artavazd Sargsyan, haute-contre
Aaron Sheehan, haute-contre
Tonia d’Amelio, soprano

Recorded live at Cal Performances, Zellerbach Hall, U.C. Berkeley, CA | April 28, 29 & 30, 2017. © and ℗ 2018 Philharmonia Baroque Productions™

In a stunning world premiere recording, music director and conductor Nicholas McGegan, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale, and an international cast of French Baroque opera stars present Jean-Philippe Rameau’s original 1745 version of Le Temple de la Gloire, with libretto by Voltaire. Presented as a fully staged opera in April 2017, the three sold out performances enjoyed universal critical acclaim from some of the world’s leading publications.

 “…the orchestration…consistently startles, the rhythmic scheme captivates and the composer’s skill at setting a French text sparkles”—The Financial Times

 “…it was the 42-member period-instrument orchestra, led by MeGegan with verve and insight, that claimed the greatest revelations.”—Opera

 “[McGegan] conducted with his trademark verve and attention to detail, drawing forceful orchestral responses in the triumphant music and gentle, opulent sound in the pastoral scenes.”—Mercury News

The original manuscript had not been performed since 1745 and is housed at U.C. Berkeley’s Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library. Originally written to honor King Louis XV and commemorate the Battle of Fontenoy, the version of this ballet héroïque that has been heard up until now is the second version which was substantially changed by Rameau to appease the King and Parisian tastes. Voltaire’s original libretto, used in these performances and recording, is a philosophical reform of opera: an allegory set around the idea of the temple of glory with moral and political overtones — making this original version not only more powerful but uniquely relevant…even today.

In the words of Nicholas McGegan, “It’s extravagant, spectacular beyond description. It’s a wonderful mix. Incredibly ornate music…the whole kitchen sink of the orchestra, deliberately exotic and jangly, with trumpets, even bagpipes.”

This recording was made April 28, 29, and 30 2017 at Zellerbach Hall at U.C. Berkeley California. It marks the Orchestra’s 10th recording under its Philharmonia Baroque Productions label and adds to its growing list of rare performance recordings. This recording is made possible by a generous gift from the Waverley Fund.