This year, Really Spicy Opera launches the first phase of a new collaboration with the Annapolis, MD-based Élan Ensemble: the Women in Opera History Initiative. To kick off this collaboration, RSO will travel to Paris to give the second-ever performance of Grétry’s 1781 opera Émilie, ou la belle esclave – a vibrant and musical drama commissioned by Marie Antoinette. The revival of this historic opera is part of a larger initiative designed to call attention to women’s important (but often forgotten) roles in shaping and creating the 18th-century opera repertoire.
Émilie, ou la belle esclave forms the centerpiece of RSO’s January 2020 tour to France. This tour will include:
- Presentations at several university classes.
- A full performance of the opera at the Fondation des États-Unis, including a lecture on Marie Antoniette’s role in its creation – and the opera’s recently discovered role in the financing of the American Revolution.
- A musical and dramatical discussion of the opera in lecture-performance fashion at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (French National Library).
- Assorted research and event planning meetings for the next phase of the initiative.
In November 2019, Really Spicy Opera will also present Émilie in performance at the Minneapolis meeting of the American Musicological Society.