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Il viaggio a Reims

Rossini’s comic opera provides a perfect showcase for the rising stars of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme.

Upcoming performances

There are currently no scheduled performances of Il viaggio a Reims.

Introduction

A party of distinguished guests on their way to the coronation of Charles X in Rheims arrives at a hotel in Plombières. Tensions, mishaps and comic misunderstandings soon arise, threatening to disrupt their onward journey.

Background

Graduates of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme join current members in a special performance of Gioachino Rossini's Il viaggio a Reims (The Journey to Rheims). This event is a special gala concert, celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Young Artists’ first Summer Performance in 2002.

Il viaggio a Reims was written to celebrate the coronation of King Charles X of France in 1825. It is unique in Rossini’s stage works for its large solo forces and lightness of touch, and combines exquisite and demanding vocal writing with a charmingly bizarre cast of characters. At its premiere, the 14 leading roles were sung by some of the greatest voices of the day; this makes it the perfect opera for the new stars of our own time. The singers will be accompanied by the Orchestra of English National Opera under the baton of Daniele Rustioni.

On Wikipedia

Il viaggio a Reims, ossia L'albergo del giglio d'oro (The Journey to Reims, or The Hotel of the Golden Fleur-de-lis) is an operatic dramma giocoso, originally performed in three acts, by Gioachino Rossini to an Italian libretto by Luigi Balocchi, based in part on Corinne, ou L'Italie by Mme de Staël. Rossini's last opera in the Italian language (all of his later works were in French) premiered under the title Le voyage à Reims, ou l'Hôtel du Lys-d'Or. It was commissioned to celebrate the coronation of French King Charles X in Reims in 1825 and has been acclaimed as one of Rossini's finest compositions. A demanding work, it requires 14 soloists (three sopranos, one contralto, two tenors, four baritones, and four basses). At its premiere, it was sung by the greatest voices of the day. Since the opera was written for a specific occasion, with a plot about European aristocrats, officers - and one poetess - en route to join in the French coronation festivities that the opera itself was composed for, Rossini never intended it to have a life beyond a few performances in Paris. He later re-used about half of the music in Le comte Ory. Il viaggio a Reims does not have an overture. Its so-called overture, derived from a set of dances in Le siège de Corinthe (1826), one of which Rossini had reworked from the dances in the finale to Il viaggio a Reims, is a twentieth-century invention or an erroneous attribution. It was published in Milan, in 1938, in a revision by Giuseppe Piccioli, which was first performed in the Teatro alla Scala, on 5 November 1938, conducted by Richard Strauss. It was later also recorded repeatedly as the alleged overture of Il viaggio a Reims, until it was finally possible to reconstruct the original score of the opera. The attributed overture remains one of Rossini's most recorded works, infusing a grand and elegant style with heavy orchestral power.

Abstract taken from the Wikipedia article Il viaggio a Reims, available under a Creative Commons license.