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Jonathan Williams: An introduction to performing Rameau’s operas
February 24 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Despite their popularity in France, the operas of Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764) are seldom performed in the UK. British singers and instrumentalists are therefore largely unfamiliar with this repertoire, a repertoire whose performance practices differ in many ways with those of better-known music from Germany, Italy and England. His operas present the performer with numerous questions on the most fundamental of issues: approaches to tempo and rubato; notation of rhythm; phrasing, articulation and colour; ornamentation and embellishment; and understanding the multi-layered librettos.
This online class will introduce Rameau’s music and performance environment, and explore the complex composer-specific practices through:
- the analysis of primary sources (scores, performing material and treatises);
- the analysis of the music itself;
- the idiosyncrasies of the libretto, its text and its versification.
Through such a combination of performance and analysis, we hope to find ways to perform with greater understanding these extraordinary products of the French Enlightenment.
About the speaker
Dr Jonathan Williams is Director of College Music, St Hilda’s College, Oxford and Director of the Rameau Project in Oxford. To find out more about the Rameau project, please click here.
The talk from Dr Williams will be held on Zoom. To sign up, please fill in this online survey and you will be sent the Zoom link on the day of the meeting. There are only 95 spaces available, and these will be offered on a first-come-first served basis. So, please only sign up if you can attend. If you have signed up and can no longer make the talk, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This class will be followed in Trinity Term with a workshop for singers and instrumentalists, depending on restrictions. If you are a music and are interested in performing, please email email@example.com, stating your instrument or voice type.