VARAŽDIN, CROATIA
14th - 23th August 2015


The courses will start at 4 p.m. on 14th of August in Music School
The final performance will be at 8 p.m. on 23th of August in Croatian National Theatre

The ÆSTAS MUSICA Summer School invites students and young professional musicians and dancers from all over the world to explore historically aware performance practices under the guidance of top international specialists, in the unique Baroque surroundings of Varaždin, Croatia.

DRAGON OF WANTLEY
music by John Frederick Lampe

libreto by Henry Carey

SCYLLA ET GLAUCUS SUITE
Jean-Marie Leclair

   

DRAGON OF WANTLE

The opera, with music composed by John Frederick Lampe, punctured the vacuous operatic conventions and pointed a satirical barb at Robert Walpole and his taxation policies.
Henry Carey wrote the libretto in 1737. The opera was a huge success and its initial run was 69 performances in the first season; a number which exceeded even The Beggar's Opera. The opera debuted at the Haymarket Theatre, where its coded attack on Walpole would have been clear, but its long run occurred after it moved to Covent Garden, which had a much greater capacity for staging. Part of its satire of opera was that it had all of the words sung, including the recitatives and da capo arias. The play itself is very brief on the page, as it relied extensively on absurd theatrics, dances, and other non-textual entertainments. The Musical Entertainer from 1739 contains engravings showing how the staging was performed.
The piece is at once a satire of the ridiculousness of operatic staging and an indirect satire of the government's tax policy. In Carey's play, Moore of Moorehall, "a valiant knight, in love with Margery," is a drunk who pauses to deal with the dragon only between bouts of drinking and carousing with women. Margery offers herself as a human sacrifice to Moore to persuade him to take on the cause of battling the dragon, and she is opposed Mauxalinda, Moore's "cast-off mistress," who has interest in him now that a rival has appeared.
The battle with the dragon takes place entirely offstage, and Moore only wounds the dragon (who is more reasonable than Moore in his dialogue) in its anus. The main action concerns the lavish dances and songs by the two sopranos and Moore. The opera is now rarely performed. A fully staged production was performed by the West London amateur group, Isleworth Baroque, in the theatre at West Thames College on October 31 to November 2, 2012.

   

JOHN FREDERICK LAMPE

(born Johann Friedrich Lampe; probably 1703 – 25 July 1751) was a musician.
He was born in Saxony, but came to England in 1724 and played the bassoon in opera houses. His wife, Isabella Lampe, was sister-in-law to the composer Thomas Arne with whom Lampe collaborated on a number of concert seasons. John and Isabella's son, Charles John Frederick Lampe, was a successful organist and composer as well.
Like Arne, Lampe wrote operatic works in English in defiance of the vogue for Italian opera popularised by George Frideric Handel and Nicola Porpora. Lampe, along with Henry Carey and J. S. Smith, founded the short-lived English Opera Project. He became a friend of Charles Wesley, and wrote several tunes to accompany Wesley's hymns. His works for the stage include the mock operas Pyramus and Thisbe (1745) and The Dragon of Wantley (1734), which ran for 69 nights, a record for the time, surpassing The Beggar's Opera. He was based for a time in Dublin and later in Edinburgh, where he died.

   

SCYLLA ET GLAUCUS (SCYLLA AND GLAUCUS)

is a tragédie en musique with a prologue and five acts, the only full-length opera by Jean-Marie Leclair. The libretto by d'Albaret is based on Ovid's Metamorphoses, books 10, 13 and 14.
Glaucus (Ancient Greek: Γλαῦκος) was a Greek prophetic sea-god, born mortal and turned immortal upon eating a magical herb. It was believed that he commonly came to the rescue of sailors and fishermen in storms, having once been one himself.
According to Ovid and Hyginus, Glaucus fell in love with the beautiful nymph Scylla and wanted her for his wife, but she was appalled by his fish-like features and fled onto land when he tried to approach her. He asked the witch Circe for a potion to make Scylla fall in love with him, but Circe fell in love with him instead. She tried to win his heart with her most passionate and loving words, telling him to scorn Scylla and stay with her. But he replied that trees would grow on the ocean floor and seaweed would grow on the highest mountain before he would stop loving Scylla. In her anger, Circe poisoned the pool where Scylla bathed, transforming her into a terrible monster with twelve feet and six heads.

   

JEAN-MARIE LECLAIR

Jean-Marie Leclair l'aîné, also known as Jean-Marie Leclair the Elder, (10 May 1697 – 22 October 1764) was a Baroque violinist and composer. He is considered to have founded the French violin school. His brothers Jean-Marie Leclair the younger (1703–77), Pierre Leclair (1709–84) and Jean-Benoît Leclair (1714–after 1759) were also musicians.
Leclair was born in Lyon, but left to study dance and the violin in Turin. In 1716, he married Marie-Rose Casthanie, a dancer, who died about 1728. Leclair had returned to Paris in 1723, where he played at the Concert Spirituel, the main semi-public music series. His works included several sonatas for flute and basso continuo.
In 1730, Leclair married for the second time. His new wife was the engraver Louise Roussel, who prepared for printing all his works from Opus 2 onward. Named ordinaire de la musique by Louis XV in 1733, Leclair resigned in 1737 after a clash with Guidon over control of the musique du Roy.
Leclair was then engaged by the Princess of Orange – a fine harpsichordist and former student of Handel – and from 1738 until 1743, served three months annually at her court in Leeuwarden, working in The Hague as a private maestro di cappella for the remainder of the year. He returned to Paris in 1743. His only opera Scylla et Glaucus was first performed in 1746 and has been revived in modern times. From 1740 until his death in Paris, he served the Duke of Gramont.
Leclair was renowned as a violinist and as a composer. He successfully drew upon all of Europe's national styles. Many suites, sonatas, and concertos survive along with his opera, while some vocal works, ballets, and other stage music is lost.
In 1758, after the break-up of his second marriage, Leclair purchased a small house in a dangerous Parisian neighborhood, where he was found stabbed to death in 1764. Although the murder remains a mystery, there is a possibility that his ex-wife may have been behind it – her motive being financial gain – although the strongest suspicion rests on his nephew, Guillaume-François Vial.
Whether at the hands of a relative who had not forgiven him for abandoning the family, or as the work of another musician envious of his talent, on or about October 23, 1764, Jean-Marie Leclair was killed by a stab in the back.

   
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