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Cedille to present world-premiere recording of 18th-century opera

Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745–1799), the biracial son of a French plantation owner and an enslaved African, was among the 18th century’s most extraordinary figures: a virtuoso violinist, composer, and conductor, he was also one of the greatest swordsmen of his day and a high-ranking French officer who led numerous military campaigns.

In June 2022, in sessions immediately following Haymarket Opera Company’s run of performances, Cedille recorded L’Amant Anonyme (The Anonymous Lover), Bologne’s only surviving opera. Chicago’s acclaimed period opera company, which presents historically informed performances of 17th- and 18th-century operas and oratorios using period instruments, brings new life to the once-celebrated comic opera with a carefully curated cast featuring 2005 BBC Cardiff “Singer of the World” Competition winner Nicole Cabell. The virtuosic score, replete with overture and ballets, is played by a full period instrument orchestra conducted by Haymarket artistic director Craig Trompeter. This album marks Haymarket Opera’s commercially distributed recording debut.

Cedille President and Founder Jim Ginsburg remarked, “This recording will showcase the virtuosity of the Haymarket Opera Company in a highly researched and beautifully articulated production. Cedille is excited to create the definitive recording of this opera — one we hope will serve as a reference for opera companies around the world as they stage their own future productions.”

The recording is an exciting and rare opportunity to offer the world-premiere recording of an 18th century work. This will be Cedille’s first opera release since our 2002 world premiere recording of Robert Kurka’s The Good Soldier Schweik, performed by Chicago Opera Theater.

Synopsis: For four years the nobleman Valcour has harbored a secret love for his friend Léontine who was widowed at a young age by her unfaithful husband. In the hopes that one day Léontine might fall in love with him, Valcour has been sending her anonymous gifts and letters. Will she ever love again? If so, will it be Valcour? Find out when this album is released in February 2023!

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Anthony McGill, New York Philharmonic principal clarinet and 2020 Avery Fisher Prize winner, and the multiple Grammy Award-winning Pacifica Quartet present an album illuminating experiences that have shaped America through works by Richard Danielpour, James Lee III, Ben Shirley (all three world-premiere recordings), and Valerie Coleman. McGill describes it as a project driven by the desire to “expand the capacity for art and music to change the world.”

Monthly Playlist

Our final featured playlist for 2022 spotlights the albums shown on Cedille’s Holiday Gift Recommendations page, including holiday-themed CDs, recent releases, perennial favorites, Grammy winners, and other great choices. Albums are presented in the order in which they appear on the webpage.

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