This DC-based ensemble is dedicated to the interpretation of French opera from the 18th century, as well as its predecessors and successors. Performed on period instruments, past productions since 1995 have included multiple works by Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Jean-Baptiste Lully, and Jean-Philippe Rameau. The music of Gluck, Handel, Mozart, and Purcell has also been represented.
Opera Lafayette — which boasts an orchestra, chorus, and numerous solo artists—can be discovered in several recordings for the Naxos label, including Gluck’s Orphée et Euridice and Lully’s Armide. The organization is also significant for the prominence it gives lesser-known operas rarely seen in America’s larger opera houses, such as the pre-Rossini Il Barbiere di Siviglia by Giovanni Paisello and Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny’s Le Roi et le fermier, a work performed by Marie Antoinette and company at Versailles in 1780.
Lafayette also maintains a vibrant array of educational programs, which include family and preview performances with discounted rates and free tickets for students, a Young Artists program, and in-school presentations teaching students about the music and stories of its featured operas. (DK)
Opera Lafayette Information
- Venues: Kennedy Center Terrace Theater (2700 F Street NW); Atlas Performing Arts Center Lang Theater (1333 H Street NE); various other venues in DC and NYC
- Public Transportation: Very good for Kennedy Center (easily accessible via bus or Metro, with free shuttle service between Metro stop and the Kennedy Center)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Performances/Programs: Three–Four per season
- Ticket Prices: Tickets range from $35–$50. Students receive a 50% discount
- Subscriptions: Three-show subscription ranges from $110–$160
- Membership: Donations from $5–$25,000+ are welcome. All donors receive special offers for Opera Lafayette by email. Patrons ($1,500–$4,999) receive an invitation for two to attend a reception with the Artistic Director.