Le Pré aux Clercs, a comic opera in three acts by French composer Ferdinand Hérold, was recorded live in April 2015 at the Grand Auditorium. Today we release its CD, a luxury edition in the form of a book with complementary texts and the music score (both in French and English).
The premiere of this piece, interpreted by the Gulbenkian Orchestra conducted by Paul McCreesh,was in Paris, at the Opera Comique, in March 2015. It was presented at the Grand Auditorium of the Gulbenkian Foundation, with the same singers, on the 7th and 8th April 2015, in a semi-staged version by Éric Ruf, director of the Comédie Fraçaise and the author of the full scenic version premiered in Paris.
Among the cast for this production were singers Marie-Ève Munger, Marie Lenormand, Jeanne Crousaud, Michael Spyres, Éric Huchet,Christian Helmer, Emiliano González Toro, Leandro César, Manuel Rebelo, Tiago Batista and Nuno Fonseca.
Based on the book Chronique du Temps de Charles IX, by Mérimée, Le Pré aux Clercs was one of the most beloved operas of the XIX century, acclaimed by the critics, who praised its expressivity, elegance, and musical diversity.
Premeried in 1833, it was represented more than 1600 times at the Ópera Comique de Paris, until late XX century. Its popularity reached other European stages, where it was also seldom represented and acclaimed. However, year after year, it slowly started falling into oblivion, until it became almost invisible.
The launching of this CD by Palazzetto Bru Zane, a cultural institution hosted in Venice dedicated to the promotion of French music from the romantic period, allows a reencounter with this fundamental work of the European opera history.