The Maid of Orleans

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Opens

June 11, 2020

Tickets on sale March 16 for OCM members.

Tickets on sale March 23 for the general public.

PERFORMANCES:
Thursday, June 11 @ 7:30pm

Saturday, June 13 @ 2:00pm

Monday, June 15 @ 7:30pm

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky 

The Maid of Orleans

 Libretto by the composer
based on Schiller’s Die Jungfrau von Orleans

In June 2020, OCM will present an operatic rarity – Tchaikovsky’s version of the Joan of Arc story, The Maid of Orleans. Though seldom produced today, Tchaikovsky thought it was his best work. “If this opera won’t be a masterpiece in general,” he wrote, “it will be my masterpiece.”  A sweeping tale in the style of French grand opera, it offers stunning orchestral passages, vibrant choruses, and a heroic role for the young mezzo-soprano playing Joan. 

The Maid of Orleans will be fully staged with orchestra conducted by Principal Guest Conductor Michael Sakir. Auditions were held in December 2019 in Middlebury and New York City. The cast will be announced in January 2020.

The opera will be presented in the
Wright Memorial Theater
on the campus of Middlebury College.

Tickets on sale March 16 for OCM members.
Tickets on sale March 23 for the general public.

MAY 31 – SUNDAY
5 pm – Meet the Singers
Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society

JUNE 9 – TUESDAY
7:00 pm – Special performance for students, by invitation only
Wright Memorial Theater, Middlebury College

JUNE 11 – THURSDAY
7:30 pm – The Maid of Orleans Opening Night 
Wright Memorial Theater, Middlebury College

JUNE 13 – SATURDAY
2 pm – The Maid of Orleans
Wright Memorial Theater, Middlebury College

JUNE 15 – MONDAY
7:30 pm – The Maid of Orleans
Wright Memorial Theater, Middlebury College

Information will be posted soon.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky 

The Maid of Orleans

 Libretto by the composer
based on Schiller’s Die Jungfrau von Orleans

 

Roles:

Joan of Arc (the Maid): Mezzo-Soprano

Charles VII, King of France: Tenor

Agnes Sorel, his Mistress: Soprano

Thibaut, Joan’s Father: Bass

Dunois, a French Soldier: Baritone

Lionel, a Burgundian Soldier: Baritone

The Archbishop: Bass

Raymond, a young man in love with Joan: Tenor

Bertrand, an old peasant: Bass

An Angel Voice: Soprano

A Soldier (Voyn): Bass

Lore, a wounded soldie: Bass

 

Synopsis:
Act I – Joan d’Arc, a humble shepherdess, is torn between the claims of a normal life versus a sense of divine mission. News of two English defeats of French troops and the siege of Orleans decides her. She foretells the death of the English leader, Salisbury, and she leads the people in a prayer for victory and peace. She then bids farewell to her familiar world. A heavenly choir confirms her calling and predicts she will save France.

Act II – French King Charles is demoralized by France’s disastrous defeats and, despite the exhortations of the knight Dunois, wishes for nothing except the love of his mistress, Agnes Sorel. By now Joan has led French troops to a great victory and she comes before the King. Having heard of her victories and how the Virgin appeared to her and revealed her destiny, the King entrusts his armies to her leadership, and she receives the archbishop’s blessing.

Act III – Scene 1 – On the battlefield Joan encounters and defeats the knight Lionel, a French nobleman who had defected to the English. But she now falls in love with him.  Scene 2 – Joan leads the King to his coronation in Rheims Cathedral, but Thibaut, her father, denounces her as an agent of the devil. She refuses to answer his question, ‘Are you pure and holy?’ and all turn against her. She is banished.

Act IV – Scene 1 – Torn between her love for Lionel and her divine mission, Joan meets him, but their joy is shattered by a heavenly chorus condemning her. They are discovered by English soldiers. Lionel dies defending her and she is taken.  Scene 2 – In Rouen Joan is led to the stake. Angels bid her to come to Heaven. 

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky 

The Maid of Orleans

 Libretto by the composer
based on Schiller’s Die Jungfrau von Orleans

Suggested recordings by J. Scott Morrison

CD’s:

DVD:

YouTube complete performance: from the Bolshoi production of 1993.

YouTube performance of Joan’s first act aria:
‘Farewell, you native fields and forests’
Elena Obraztsova, mezzo: