We are excited to share with you an update on one of the New Works Showcase projects, “La Maupin.” This cantata for voice and piano features music by Canadian composer Colin McMahon and text by Camille Rogers, with additional poetry by 17th-century English poet Aphra Behn.
See this work’s full Showcase listing here:
The piece had its premiere in 2022 as a 30-minute cantata with six movements. It is currently being expanded to run 50 minutes, with nine movements. Additionally, the score will be arranged for a small chamber ensemble of strings and harpsichord. We are thrilled to bring this piece to life in a new form and share it with audiences across Canada and the world through digital presentation.
Camille Rogers, the librettist for the cantata, is currently undertaking a research trip to France with funding provided by a France-Canada Cultural Exchange Experience France Award. They have visited the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and the Opéra library at the Palais Garnier, where they consulted early sources on Julie d’Aubigny Maupin’s life. They also visited places in Paris where Maupin lived and worked, including the Palais-Royal, Rue Saint-Honoré, and Place des Victoires, where it is rumoured that La Maupin had an altercation with a rude and drunken colleague from the Opéra.
Camille also travelled to Avignon, where they searched through fire, police, and court records at the Archives municipales, spanning from 1685 to 1690. Their research supports the theory that the convent story was possibly a scandal fabricated by Maupin’s enemies to discredit her. Camille also visited the Chapelle de la Visitation in Avignon, the convent which it is rumoured Maupin infiltrated and set aflame.
Furthermore, Camille attended a two-day workshop at the Centre de musique baroque de Versailles, given by Emmanuelle Haïm, one of the foremost conductors of early music in the world, and other respected musicians. They also visited the Palace of Versailles and attended a concert of excerpts from operas and ballets by Jean-Baptiste Lully, given by Emmanuelle Haïm and trainees from the CMBV.
We hope you enjoyed this update on “La Maupin” and the exciting developments related to its creation.
Stay tuned for more updates as all Showcased artistic teams continue to bring their works to life!
Photo descriptions, from Camille:
- The Palais Garnier, where the Opéra archives are housed
- One of the 18th-century books I was able to consult in Paris (not the manuscript, it’s not allowed to take photos of those!)
- Me at the Palais-Royal, where Maupin sang between 1690-1705
- Place des Victoires, where Maupin is said to have challenged one of her colleagues from the opera to a duel (he was a tenor, and declined the challenge)
- The Chapelle de la Visitation in Avignon
- Me in front of the Marseille opera house
- The view just before a CMBV concert I attended on Thursday evening in the Galerie des Batailles, as well as the program.
- As above
- A page for my score of a scene from Médée after the CMBV masterclasses- covered in many notes from everything I learned!
- A view of the palace of Versailles- it was raining that morning so the gardens were very quiet!