The Maid of Orléans

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

September 16, 2017 at 7:30pm
NEC’s Jordan Hall

The Maid of Orléans

One night only—Presented in concert

By Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Sung in Russian with English titles

 

The Maid of Orléans represents Tchaikovsky’s closest approach to French grand opera with its large-scale cast and orchestra. Presented in concert the opera tells the tale of Joan of Arc. While the composer’s libretto remains true to much of the Joan legend, including her visions, strength in battle and fiery martyrdom, this lush romantic work also tells the story of a conflicted Father who ultimately betrays her and of her love for Lionel, a Burgundian Knight. Tchaikovsky’s impassioned score creates a nuanced musical portrait of the intrepid young woman who led the French army to victory.

“A night at the opera doesn’t get better than this.”

Opera News

Cast and Creative

Kate Aldrich
Kate Aldrich
Joan of Arc

Kevin Thompson
Kevin Thompson
Thibaut d’Arc, Joan’s father

Kevin Ray
Kevin Ray
King Charles VII

Aleksey Bogdanov
Aleksey Bogdanov
Lionel, a Burgundian knight

Yeghishe Manucharyan
Yeghishe Manucharyan
Raymond, Joan’s betrothed

David Kravitz
David Kravitz
Dunois, a French knight

Mikhail Svetlov
Mikhail Svetlov
The Archbishop

Erica Petrocelli
Erica Petrocelli
Agnès Sorel

David Salsbery Fry
David Salsbery Fry
Bertrand, a peasant

John Salvi
Soldier

 
 
Ryan Stoll
Lauret

 
 
Sarah Yanovitch
Angel

Gil Rose
Gil Rose
Conductor

Background

“If this opera won’t be a masterpiece in general, it will be my masterpiece! Its simplicity of style is absolute. The forms are uncluttered,” Tchaikovsky wrote to his brother Modeste in January 1879. Hard at work on his sixth opera, The Maid of Orléans (Russian: Орлеанская дева, Orléanskaja deva), the composer was simultaneously composing and adapting several literary sources for the libretto. His work as a music critic (1867-1878) had allowed him to travel widely, including to Wagner’s inaugural Ring cycle in Bayreuth. He appreciated the staging, but not the music, calling it “unlikely nonsense… through which sparkle unusually beautiful and astonishing details.”

Read the program notes


Media

Photos and videos by Kathy Wittman / Ball Square Films