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Seraphic Fire to Put on the Rarely Heard 1737 Edition of the French Opera Castoret Pollux

Seraphic Fire opens its 21st Season with the stirring concert, GODS AND MORTALS, which centers on scenes from Castor et Pollux by Jean-Philippe Rameau.


The 1737 opera depicts mythological twins, mortal Castor, and immortal Pollux, as they struggle with their love of the same woman and a trip to the underworld. Audiences will follow solo voices, chorus, and chamber orchestra through this dramatic story and enjoy the harmonic complexity and dance-like rhythms that are a hallmark of Rameau.


Conducted by Artistic

Director and Founder Patrick Dupre Quigley, the program opens with Jean-Joseph de Mondonville’s Dominus Regnavit, a triumphant and stately setting of Biblical text.



Outside of France, there are very few performances of Castor et Pollux, and the majority that are presented reflect the 1754 version. Seraphic Fire will enable their audience to experience the rarely-performed original arrangement from 1737, which many consider to be the more daring of the two compositions. Seraphic Fire co-founder and artistic director, Patrick Dupre Quigley describes the extensive planning process: “We’re actually putting together our own parts and score for this performance, not buying it from a store. Deep appreciation goes to our student conductor from the University of Miami, Wesley Roy, who is researching the earliest public editions of this work to create this performance edition for Seraphic Fire. This is a five-act opera with a prologue that we are cutting down to 40 minutes.”


Quigley went on to describe what the audience will experience: “Rameau was a master of counterpoint. His work makes huge technical demands on the performers: the vocal ornamentation is much more florid than in Italian Baroque opera. Our audience will find that the sound of French music is very different from Italian or English. The music is very tuneful and accessible in a way that Bach is not. For Seraphic Fire audiences, this is a sound world that they are not used to hearing from us.”


Seraphic Fire is excited to be presenting this program at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in addition to its regular church venues. The organization’s regular Palm Beach County venue, St. Gregory Episcopal, is under renovation. Until the ensemble returns to St. Gregory’s Episcopal in January 2024, it will present programs at the Rinker Playhouse at Kravis Center.


GODS AND MORTALS


Program:


Prologue and Scenes from Castor and Pollux - Jean-Philippe Rameau

Dominus Regnavit - Jean-Joseph de Mondonville


Performances:


Thu, Nov 2, 7:30 pm | Miami | St. Sophia Greek Orthodox

Fri, Nov 3, 8:00 pm | Coral Gables |Church of the Little Flower

Sat, Nov 4, 7:30 pm | Ft. Lauderdale | All Saints Episcopal

Sun, Nov 5, 4:00 pm | West Palm Beach | Kravis Center


A Pre-Concert Conversation will be presented one hour prior to each performance by Dr. Nola Richardson.


Tickets and subscriptions are on sale now at SeraphicFire.org and by phone at 305.285.9060.


Venues

St. Sophia Greek Orthodox

2401 SW 3rd Ave.

Miami, FL 33129


Church of the Little Flower

2711 Indian Mound Tr.

Coral Gables, FL 33134


All Saints Episcopal

333 Tarpon Dr.

Ft. Lauderdale, FL


About Patrick Dupre Quigley, Conductor


Patrick Dupre Quigley founded Seraphic Fire in 2002 in Miami, FL. For more information on Mr. Quigley, click here.


About Seraphic Fire


Seraphic Fire brings together professional vocal and instrumental artists from around the US and internationally to perform and record repertoire ranging from medieval chant and Baroque masterpieces to commissions by leading living composers.


Seraphic Fire’s artistic accomplishments also have translated to partnerships with The Cleveland Orchestra and New World Symphony, among others. At the forefront of Seraphic Fire’s mission is a commitment to community well-being and musician advancement through educational programs for South Florida’s

underserved elementary students, as well as rising music professionals at the University of Miami, Florida International University, UCLA, and the Aspen Music Festival and School.


By ML Staff. Images courtesy of Seraphic Fire


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