by Jarrett Hoffman
Thursday’s program on Les Délices’ Concert Series is an interesting combination of imagination and circumstance: a creative recipe composed of recordings the ensemble had at hand in the fridge, or rather the archives.
“Games and Grounds” — which premieres online on February 18 at 7:30 pm and remains available on-demand until a Closing Reception on March 1 at that same hour — combines musical versions of Aesop’s Fables with virtuosic ground-bass variations by such composers as Rebel, Marais, and Rameau.
Tenor Jason McStoots and soprano Elena Mullins (above) will take turns telling the stories of an ant and a grasshopper, a lion and a rat, a tortoise and a hare, and a tortoise and an eagle. Those texts will be heard here set to simple airs and popular tunes from 1730s France, but in new English translations commissioned from Larry Rosenwald.
And Mullins will top off the program with her own new choreography for Rebel’s Caractères de la danse — one of a couple pieces that continue the thread of narrative, but in a more subtle way than the fables. See the full program here, and purchase tickets here.
I reached Les Délices director Debra Nagy by telephone to discuss all of that, beginning where else but with Aesop’s Fables. Those got us talking about childhood, specifically Nagy’s upbringing as a first-generation American. [Read more…]