Opera Lafayette is an American period instrument ensemble focused on the French 18th-century opera repertoire and its precursors, influences, and artistic legacy. Opera Lafayette inspires a love of this repertoire by presenting rediscovered masterpieces and creating a recorded legacy of its work. Opera Lafayette performs at the highest level of artistic excellence in major theaters in Washington, New York, and international venues. Opera Lafayette educates and creates new audiences for its repertoire by making opera accessible to the general public, families, young people, and underserved audiences through its educational and outreach programs and performances in low-cost alternative venues.
Founded in 1995 in Washington, DC, by Conductor and Artistic Director Ryan Brown, Opera Lafayette has earned critical acclaim and a loyal following for its performances and recordings with international singers renowned for their interpretations of baroque and classical operas. The New York Times has said, “Opera Lafayette … has built a sterling reputation through specializing in rarities by Gluck, Grétry and the like.” Opera Lafayette's season includes performances at major venues in Washington, DC, and New York City. At the invitation of Château de Versailles Spectacles, Opera Lafayette made its international debut at the Opéra Royal in February 2012 with the modern world premiere of Monsigny’s Le Roi et le fermier. France’s Opéra Magazine said, “This production should be noted and remembered in the annals of Versailles, for the intelligence of its staging, the beauty of its sets, and its high musical quality.” Opera Lafayette returned to Versailles for five sold-out performances of its French Così project in January and February of 2014.
Opera Lafayette’s discography on the Naxos label has expanded to eleven releases, including Gluck’s Orphée et Euridice (2005), Sacchini’s Œdipe à Colone (2006), Rameau Operatic Arias (2007), Lully’s Armide (2008), Rebel and Francœur’s Zélindor, roi des Sylphes (2009), Monsigny’s Le Déserteur (2010), Philidor’s Sancho Pança (2011) Grétry’s Le Magnifique (2012), Monsigny's Le Roi et le fermier (2013), Félicien David's Lalla Roukh (2014), and Philidor's Les Femmes Vengées (2015).