Publications, Recordings, Performances & Broadcasts
‘Music, Dance and Narrative in Rameau’s Zaïs: Bringing the Immortal back to Life’, a full account of Edith and Jonathan’s experiences creating the choreography for Zaïs, has appeared in the ‘Dance in Opera’ issue of the Journal of the Society for Dance Research 33.2 (2015): 212–226.
A CD of Anacréon for Signum Records, the first studio recording of a Rameau opera in the UK for 30 years (made possible thanks to the generous support of the John Fell Fund, Debbie & Joe Andrews, David Laing Foundation, Vernon Ellis and Martin Smith).
‘A landmark recording…’ Nick Kenyon, The Observer.
The Project has staged performances of three Rameau operas in Oxford and London, all with the OAE conducted by Jonathan Williams.
The modern première of Anacréon (1754)
Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford
9 November 2012
Reconstructed by Jonathan Williams from manuscripts scattered among Parisian libraries, and now published in Bärenreiter’s Opera Omnia Rameau, Rameau’s Anacréon (1754) was given its first complete performance in 250 years by Jonathan and the OAE. The success of the performance, described in Opera as ‘colourful and arresting… full of energy, caprice, novelty and depth’, led to the creation of the Rameau Project. Photos of the event can be found on the Media page.
This performance was supported by the Faculty of Music, the John Fell Fund, the Joan Conway Fund,
Sheila Forbes and St Hilda’s College, the David Laing Foundation, Magdalen College, Dr J Andrews, All Souls College, Patrick Abrams (Bärenrieter Ltd), Sennheiser UK, and others wishing to remain unnamed.
The British première of Rameau’s Zaïs
Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank Centre, London
27 April 2014
Thanks to a six-figure award from the University’s John Fell Fund, the Rameau Project was able to undertake a nine-month project developing research processes, dance expertise and the model of engagement between the University and the OAE. Focussed through the preparation and performance of the ballet héroïque Zaïs (1748), this research culminated in the British première of Zaïs at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 27 April 2014. The version performed was the Easter 1748 version as found in Graham Sadler’s OOR edition, and a new surtitle translation was prepared by Paula Kennedy and Jonathan Williams. Semi-staged, and featuring Edith Lalonger’s Baroque choreography performed by Les Plasirs des Nations, the event enjoyed great critical acclaim and was enthusiastically received by the capacity audience. Photos of the event can be found on the Media page.
Read Tim Ashley’s review in The Guardian here. http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/apr/29/zais-oae-jonathan-williams-review-opera-queen-elizabeth-hall-london
This performance was supported by the John Fell Fund, the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH); Sheila Forbes, Nigel & Françoise Jones, Mr & Mrs Sheldon, Mark Payne, Tony & Liz Whittome and Patrick Abrams (Bärenrieter Ltd); Steven Devine, The David Laing Foundation and Lubomir Roglev.
A Rameau double-bill: Pigmalion (1748) and Anacréon (1754)
Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank Centre, London
9 October 2014
Building on the success of Zaïs in April, Jonathan and the OAE returned to the QEH in October to perform two of Rameau’s one-act ballets, Pigmalion and Anacréon (1754). The inaugural concert in the OAE’s 2014-15 prestigious South Bank Series, and once again featuring historically-informed choreography by Edith Lalonger, this event was a fitting celebration to crown the Rameau anniversary year and was enthusiastically received by the capacity audience.
The choreography in this performance was generously funded by Arts Council England, Aline Foriel-Destezet, Early Dance Circle, David Laing Trust, Helen Hamlyn Trust, Matthiesen Foundation, Sheila Forbes, Paul Salmon and Helen Swift.
The Rameau Project played a major role in the BBC’s Rameau anniversary coverage during 2014. In addition to a feature on Radio 4’s Today programme, Rameau Project members contributed to almost seven hours of broadcasts:
Music Matters, Radio 3 (broadcast date: 26 April 2014)
In April, Jonathan and Edith appeared on Radio 3’s Music Matters when they talked with Tom Service about their work preparing for the UK première of Rameau’s Zaïs. Listen on the iPlayer (from 32:35 onwards) here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b041vf8m
Who does John Hegley think he is?, Radio 4 (broadcast date: 8 & 12 July 2014)
Jonathan and Edith appeared on Radio 4 in early July talking about Rameau with poet and performer John Hegley. John, who has long believed himself to be descended from Rameau, set out to discover the truth. We hear the fruits of this endeavour, what John thought of the OAE’s performance of Zaïs, and reflections through music and poetry of the inspiration John has found in his believed connection to his ancestor. You can hear this charming, witty and poignant journey here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b048l0gc
Composer of the Week, Radio 3 (broadcast dates: 8-12 September 2014)
In September, Graham and Jonathan appeared with Donald Macleod on Composer of the Week, Radio 3’s week-long anniversary look at Rameau. All five programme podcasts can be downloaded here: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio3/cotwrz/cotwrz_20140912-1150a.mp3
Music Matters, Radio 3 (broadcast date: 20 September 2014)
Radio 3’s Music Matters devoted an entire edition to Rameau in September. Tom Service came to Oxford to visit the Rameau International Anniversary Conference and to talk with Graham, Jonathan and Edith. Listen on the iPlayer here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04hvqmt