Excerpts and recent critical reviews:

Recording - PHILIDOR: Les Femmes Vengées

"Opera Lafayette’s young cast ... sing with clean, stylish vocalism and manage the comedy capably. But it’s Ryan Brown’s orchestra that steals the show, playing with rich contrasts, clarity and verve."  |  Read Full Review

Opera News Magazine, February 2016

Une Éducation Manquée

"Emmanuel Chabrier’s Une Éducation Manquée (An Incomplete Education),” a half-hour work for piano and three singers, written in 1879 for a single performance in a club. Opera Lafayette brought this piece, as light and fleeting and swirling with color as a soap bubble, to the Terrace Theater on Tuesday and Wednesday night."  |  Read Full Review 

Anne Midgette, The Washington Post, February 3,2016 

 

"Soprano Sophie Junker was a wide-eyed Hélène, with ... a beautiful overall tone, with soprano Amel Brahim-Djelloul ... showing a charming boyishness in the trouser role of Gontran. Baritone Dominique Côté had smart comic timing as Pausanias.”  |  Read Full Review   

Charles Downey, Ionarts, February 4, 2016

Catone in Utica

"Emilia, sung splendidly by the young mezzo-soprano Julia Dawson, lurked in the background through most of the first half, like everyone’s bad conscience, but suddenly turned into a spitfire before intermission, vowing to avenge her husband’s death. As Caesar, Mr. Holiday, a robust and brilliant countertenor, had similar animated opportunities and made the most of them. As Cato, Mr. Allen, a strong veteran tenor, took his wrath out harrowingly on Marzia, his daughter, having learned of her secret love for Caesar. Anna Reinhold, a mezzo-soprano, sang Marzia beautifully, and Marguerite Krull was effective in the thankless trouser role of Arbace, Marzia’s would-be lover. (Don’t you hate it when a Caesar gets in your way?) Eric Jurenas, another powerful and pliant countertenor, sang Fulvio, Caesar’s aide."  |  Read Full Review

James Oestreich, The New York Times, December 2, 2015

"Brown is not a conductor who imposes himself on the music. He simply is the music, and his musicians follow him with a unanimity that is a joy to watch...[he] has the ability to discern which particular details of shape and texture will most vividly characterize a mood, throwing open the doors to great variety in his music-making."  | 

Patrick Rucker, The Washington Post, November 29, 2015

 

Previous Seasons


"...a delighted audience at Gould Hall on Wednesday night had Opera Lafayette to thank for presenting a rarity in such a beguilingly simple production, directed by Nick Olcott, with a winning cast."
Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times, May 28, 2015 on Opera Lafayette's production of L'Épreuve Villageoise.
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"More power to Opera Lafayette and its founder and conductor, Ryan Brown, who sensitively led the orchestra, for managing to bring a personal and somewhat eclectic dream to a wider audience."
Anne Midgette, The Washington Post, May 31, 2015, on Opera Lafayette's production of L'Épreuve Villageoise.
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"So kudos to Opera Lafayette, the intrepid Washington, D.C.-based company that specializes in 18th-century French opera, for mounting Les Fêtes... one of their most imaginative productions ever..." 
Heidi Waleson, The Wall Street Journal, October 13, 2014, on Opera Lafayette's production of Les Fêtes
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"[Les Fêtes] explodes on stage... all in the resplendent service of extolling the power of love – and music-theatre."
Susan Galbraith, DC Theatre Scene, October 8, 2014, on Opera Lafayette's  production of Les Fêtes
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" ...ravishingly sung by Emiliano Gonzalez Toro. Marianne Fiset is supremely elegant in the title role, and there are strong, sharply characterised performances from Nathalie Paulin and Bernard Deletré ..."
Tim Ashley, The Guardian, April 10, 2014, on Opera Lafayette's recording of Lalla Roukh
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"[Conductor Ryan] Brown is to be commended for bringing this captivating work so brilliantly back to life and into our consciousness."
Marvin J. Ward, Classical Voice North America, April 25, 2014, on Opera Lafayette's recording of Lalla Roukh
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"Bringing little-known 18th-century French opera to the Opéra Royal at the Château de Versailles takes audacity and confidence... Opera Lafayette, based in Washington, has done it twice.”
Celestine Bohlen, International NY Times, March 26, 2014
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"D.C.’s early-music company Opera Lafayette repeats the history that’s been forgotten."
Anne Midgette, The Washington Post, January 2014
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"On paper, it sounds kind of crazy and wildly ambitious. On the stage, this French “Cosi” was nothing short of delightful...hands-down one of the most enjoyable. I wish everyone who loves Mozart had a chance to see it."
Anne Midgette, The Washington Post, October 20, 2013, on Opera Lafayette's October 18, 2013 performance of Così fan tutte.
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"Opera Lafayette bounded onto the stage at the Terrace Theatre this week offering a “post-modern” baroque opera that was both elegant and fresh...this production was served shaken with a twist...There's singular grace here delivered with not an ounce of tension."
Susan Galbraith, DC Theatre Scene, May 6, 2013, on Opera Lafayette's May 2, 2013 performance of Charpentier's Actéon
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"Opera Lafayette presented a graceful and witty production...a glowing cast of singers...exquisite musical moments."
Corinna da Fonseca-Wilheim, The New York Times, February 3, 2013, on Opera Lafayette's performance of David's Lalla Roukh.
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