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Ken Meltzer
Fanfare, July 2019

GAVEAUX, P.: Léonore, ou L'amour conjugal [Opera] (Opera Lafayette, 2017) (NTSC) 2.110591
GAVEAUX, P.: Léonore, ou L'amour conjugal [Opera] (Opera Lafayette, 2017) (Blu-ray, HD) NBD0085V

We’re fortunate, then, that the Opera Lafayette performance is so exemplary. The ensemble cast features singers who have lovely, secure voices, are comfortable with the French style (both sung and spoken), and move convincingly on stage. Soprano Kimy Mc Laren negotiates to perfection the difficult task of portraying the woman, Leonore, disguised as the young man, Fidelio. Conductor Ryan Brown leads a performance of admirable execution and momentum, and the fine playing of the period ensemble Opera Lafayette Orchestra is a decided asset. © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review



James H. North
Fanfare, July 2019

GAVEAUX, P.: Léonore, ou L'amour conjugal [Opera] (Opera Lafayette, 2017) (NTSC) 2.110591
GAVEAUX, P.: Léonore, ou L'amour conjugal [Opera] (Opera Lafayette, 2017) (Blu-ray, HD) NBD0085V

The performance is excellent… The Opera Lafayette Orchestra is a fine period ensemble, and it’s lovely to see its colorful instruments, such as a gaily striped clarinet. The singers are all satisfactory… The production is a sensible one, making imaginative use of a unit set with moveable panels. © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review



Scott MacClelland
Performing Arts Monterey Bay, April 2019

The title character is sung with both fragility and authority by soprano Kimy McLaren, Florestan by tenor Jean-Michel Richer, Roc (the jailer) by bass Tomislav Lavoie and the hopelessly smitten Marceline by soprano Pascale Beaudin. Baritone Dominique Côté is the evil Pizare, tenor Keven Geddes is Jacquino and bass-baritone Alexandre Sylvestre, with only the slightest of parts are the very end, is Dom Fernand. The Lynch Theater is an intimate space which gives all the characters highly defined presence. © 2019 Performing Arts Monterey Bay Read complete review




BBC Music Magazine, March 2019

GAVEAUX, P.: Léonore, ou L’amour conjugal [Opera] (Opera Lafayette, 2017) (NTSC) 2.110591
GAVEAUX, P.: Léonore, ou L’amour conjugal [Opera] (Opera Lafayette, 2017) (Blu-ray, HD) NBD0085V

Ryan Brown, artistic director of Opera Lafayette, is to be congratulated on both staging and recording Léonore. © 2019 BBC Music Magazine



Richard Lawrence
Gramophone, February 2019

GAVEAUX, P.: Léonore, ou L’amour conjugal [Opera] (Opera Lafayette, 2017) (NTSC) 2.110591
GAVEAUX, P.: Léonore, ou L’amour conjugal [Opera] (Opera Lafayette, 2017) (Blu-ray, HD) NBD0085V

Kimy Mc Laren makes a believable Léonore/Fidélio: forthright, valiant, tender in the dungeon scene, and with bright, fearless top notes. Jean-Michel Richer as Florestan, improbably well groomed, is just as credible: he is particularly impressive when begging Roc for help. Without a big aria – no ‘Ha! Welch ein Augenblick!’ for him – Pizare is, so to speak, even more one-dimensional than Beethoven’s Don Pizarro, but Dominique Côté manages to be both threatening and sly; while Tomislav Lavoie points up the dilemma of Roc, the loving father prepared to connive at Pizare’s plan to murder Florestan. Of the minor characters, Pascale Beaudin is an enchanting Marceline, turning her aria into a fandango. The high tenor line gives the Prisoners’ Chorus a particularly wistful air. The orchestra under Ryan Brown play with spirit. This is an enterprising and rewarding production, well worth 82 minutes of your time. © 2019 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



David Denton
David's Review Corner, December 2018

GAVEAUX, P.: Léonore, ou L’amour conjugal [Opera] (Opera Lafayette, 2017) (NTSC) 2.110591
GAVEAUX, P.: Léonore, ou L’amour conjugal [Opera] (Opera Lafayette, 2017) (Blu-ray, HD) NBD0085V

Pierre Gaveaux’s opera Leonore, ou L’amour conjugal was premiered in 1796, and was the same story Beethoven used for his opera Fidelio, composed ten years later. As the booklet that accompanies this release tells you almost nothing about a composer who is little known today, let me just briefly give you his background. Born in Beziers in the south of France in 1760, his first contact with music came as a chorister in the Cathedral Choir. For a time he had thoughts of Priesthood, but his voice developed into that of a fine tenor, and after a period singing opera in Montpellier, he combined his career on stage with that of a composer. He went on to become a conductor and teacher having by then moved to Paris. His first opera came in 1792 with L’amour fillial which enjoyed performances throughout Western Europe. In total he composed some thirty-six operas, while continuing as one of Europe’s leading tenors, his career ending in 1812. Of all his works, Leonore, in which he sang the leading role of Florestan at the premiere in Paris in 1798, was by far his most successful score, and commentators of the time not only commented that Beethoven ‘stole’ the plot from Gaveaux, but also pointed out similarities in the use of orchestral effects. It would be passe to say that had Beethoven not taken up the idea, we would still remember Gaveaux for his Leonore as that maybe an exaggeration. It is the story of the wife who pretends to be a young man in order to work in a jail, hoping that she can save her wrongly accused and incarcerated husband, the outcome being her triumph when he is pardoned, and, together with others jailed, regains his freedom, while their accuser is arrested. In two acts, and much shorter than the Beethoven score, the disc’s booklet does not add that this 2017 New York production is the first in modern times. It comes from Oriol Tomas and is placed in the period of the French Revolution. The set is spartan, but adequate, and the action on stage is sufficient to relate the events. The Orchestra of Opera Lafayette plays on period instruments, and the cast is drawn from ‘singers renowned for their interpretations of Baroque and Classical Opera’. In fact they are all Canadians who work on the international opera stage, Kimy McLaren, as an excellent Fidelio, has a very wide-ranging repertoire, while the warm voiced Jean-Michel Richer, is a very fine Florestan. Tomislav Lavoie is a superb Roc; Pascale Beaudin the silvery voiced Marceline, and Keven Geddes a most pleasing Jacquino. So is this a neglected masterpiece? Not really, but had it carried the name ‘Mozart’ it would have found a place in the fringe repertoire. Taken from just one performance, the interrupting applause is retained, but all credit to the film and audio crew in a ‘no frills’ presentation. I have reviewed the Blu-ray version, and there is a standard DVD version on 2.110591. © 2018 David’s Review Corner



Records International, December 2018

Fidelio, Florestan, Marcelline and Pizarro—they’re all here in this darkly somber but also entertainingly celebratory 1798 opéra comique which was the direct forerunner to Beethoven’s Fidelio. © 2018 Records International



Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim
The New York Times, February 2017

GAVEAUX, P.: Léonore, ou L’amour conjugal [Opera] (Opera Lafayette, 2017) (NTSC) 2.110591
GAVEAUX, P.: Léonore, ou L’amour conjugal [Opera] (Opera Lafayette, 2017) (Blu-ray, HD) NBD0085V

Members of the talented Canadian cast were comfortable with the spoken French dialogue and their light, healthy voices made the transitions from talking to singing natural and fluid. Pascale Beaudin brought a powdery-soft soprano to the role of Marceline, the jailer’s daughter who pines for the attentions of the apprentice Fidelio—never suspecting that he is a woman. As Fidelio/Léonore, the soprano Kimy McLaren had expressive bite and clarity. © 2017 The New York Times



Robert Battey
The Washington Post, February 2017

GAVEAUX, P.: Léonore, ou L’amour conjugal [Opera] (Opera Lafayette, 2017) (NTSC) 2.110591
GAVEAUX, P.: Léonore, ou L’amour conjugal [Opera] (Opera Lafayette, 2017) (Blu-ray, HD) NBD0085V

Opera Lafayette’s smart, efficient production brought the brief opéra comique fully to life with vivid playing and singing. © 2017 The Washington Post



Charles T. Downey
Washington Classical Review, February 2017

GAVEAUX, P.: Léonore, ou L’amour conjugal [Opera] (Opera Lafayette, 2017) (NTSC) 2.110591
GAVEAUX, P.: Léonore, ou L’amour conjugal [Opera] (Opera Lafayette, 2017) (Blu-ray, HD) NBD0085V

Opera Lafayette continues to unearth historical curiosities from the 17th and 18th centuries. On Sunday afternoon the ensemble gave the modern premiere of a long-lost French work at Lisner Auditorium. It turns out that Léonore, ou L’amour conjugal by Pierre Gaveaux, familiar as the source work for Beethoven’s Fidelio, deserves to be known on its own account… Ryan Brown conducted a strong performance from his orchestra of period instruments… Director Oriol Thomas oversaw a savvy production, with acting direction that made the characters sympathetic and realistic. © 2017 Washington Classical Review





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