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Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra: Bio

As he embarks on his fifth decade on the podium, Nicholas McGegan-long hailed as "one of the finest baroque conductors of his generation" (London Independent) and "an expert in 18th-century style" (The New Yorker)-is recognized for his probing and revelatory explorations of music of all periods. McGegan has established the San Francisco-based Philharmonia as one of the world's leading period-performance ensembles, with notable appearances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the London Proms, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and the International Handel Festival, Göttingen. Throughout his career, McGegan has defined an approach to period style that sets the current standard: intelligent, infused with joy, and never dogmatic. He is also Principal Guest Conductor for the Pasadena Symphony.

McGegan's ability to engage players and audiences alike has made him a pioneer in broadening the reach of historically informed practice beyond the world of period ensembles to conventional symphonic forces. His guest-conducting appearances with major orchestras-including the New York, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong Philharmonics; the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Toronto, Sydney, and New Zealand Symphonies; the Cleveland and the Philadelphia Orchestras; and the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Scottish Chamber Orchestra-often feature Baroque repertoire alongside Classical, Romantic, 20th-century and even brand-new works.

Active in opera as well as the concert hall, McGegan was principal conductor of Sweden's 18th-century Drottningholm Theater from 1993 to 1996, Artistic Director and conductor at the Göttingen Handel Festival for 20 years (1991-2011), and Principal Guest Conductor at Scottish Opera in the 1990s. Guest appearances have brought him to the podium at Covent Garden, San Francisco, Santa Fe, and Washington.

McGegan's prolific discography includes more than 100 releases spanning five decades. Having recorded over 50 albums of Handel, McGegan has explored the depths of the composer's output with a dozen oratorios and close to 20 of his operas. Under its own label, Philharmonia Baroque Productions (PBP), Philharmonia has recently released almost a dozen acclaimed albums of Handel, Scarlatti, Vivaldi, Brahms, Haydn, Beethoven, and the first-ever recording of the recently rediscovered 300-year-old work La Gloria di Primavera by Alessandro Scarlatti, recorded live at the U.S. premiere. Grammy nominations include Handel's Susanna for Best Choral Performance and Haydn's Symphonies 104, 88 & 101 for Best Orchestral Performance, both with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra.

McGegan is committed to the next generation of musicians, frequently conducting and coaching students in residencies and engagements at Yale University, the Juilliard School, Harvard University, the Colburn School, Aspen Music Festival and School, Sarasota Music Festival, and the Music Academy of the West. In 2013, he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Music by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and in 2016 was the Christoph Wolff Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Harvard.

Born in England, Nicholas McGegan was educated at Cambridge and Oxford and taught at the Royal College of Music, London. He was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen's Birthday Honours for 2010 "for services to music overseas." Most recently, he was invited to join the board of Early Music America. His awards also include the Halle Handel Prize; an honorary professorship at Georg-August University, Göttingen; the Order of Merit of the State of Lower Saxony (Germany); the Medal of Honour of the City of Göttingen; and an official Nicholas McGegan Day, declared by the Mayor of San Francisco in recognition of his distinguished work with Philharmonia.

Under the musical direction of Nicholas McGegan for 33 years, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale (PBO) is recognized as America's leading historically informed ensemble. Using authentic instruments and stylistic conventions of the Baroque to early Romantic periods, the Orchestra engages audiences through performance, tours, recordings, commissions, and education of the highest standard.

Founded in the Bay Area 37 years ago, the ensemble is the largest of its kind in the U.S. PBO's musicians are among the best in the country and serve on the faculties of The Juilliard School, Harvard, and Stanford, among others. The Orchestra performs an annual subscription season in four venues throughout the Bay Area as well as its alternative concert series, PBO SESSIONS. In April 2017, PBO performed the modern day premiere of Rameau's Le Temple de la Gloire. The fully staged opera included an international cast of singers and dancers and celebrated sold-out audiences and critical acclaim from around the world.

Each season welcomes eminent guest artists such as mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, countertenor Andreas Scholl, mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, fortepianist Emanuel Ax, maestro Richard Egarr and Jordi Savall. The Orchestra enjoys numerous collaborations, including a regular partnership with the Mark Morris Dance Group and tours regularly to venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Tanglewood, and Weill Hall at the Green Music Center.

Among the most recorded orchestras in the world, PBO boasts a discography of over 40 recordings and launched its own label on which it has released ten recordings, including a coveted archival performance of mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson singing Berlioz's Les nuits d'été, and received a GRAMMY® nomination for a recording of Haydn symphonies. The Orchestra recently released the world premiere recording of Rameau's original 1745 version of Le Temple de la Gloire.

In March 2015, Philharmonia launched its Jews & Music Initiative-a continuing exploration into early Jewish music of 17th century Italy, the significance of Jewish biblical heroes and heroines in Handel's oratorios and operas, and Jewish musicians throughout the centuries.

PBO's New Music for Old Instruments initiative was launched in 2017 as an effort to commission and perform new works written expressly for period instruments. Past PBO commissions include To Hell and Back, by Guggenheim Fellow Jake Heggie and songs for Anne Sofie von Otter and Dominique Labelle by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw. Future seasons will bring new commissions by Matthew Aucoin, Mason Bates, and Caroline Shaw.

To nurture the next generation of historically informed performance, Philharmonia and The Juilliard School's Historical Performance program have established a partnership to bring the star students of Juilliard415, the school's acclaimed period instrument ensemble, to practice and perform alongside PBO's seasoned professionals. Annual residencies include masterclasses, coaching, and a culminating side-by-side showcase of PBO mentors and J415 students.

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra

Rameau - Le Temple de la Gloire

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1 Rameau: Le Temple de la Gloire - Prologue: Ouverture  
2 Prologue: Monologue  
3 Prologue: Choeur avec coryphee  
4 Prologue: Air  
5 Prologue: Air pour les Demons et les Heros  
6 Prologue: Recitatif  
7 Prologue: Choeur  
8 Prologue: Recitatif, ariette  
9 Prologue: Air pour les Heros  
10 Prologue: Air pour les Muses  
11 Prologue: Air pour les Heros  
12 Prologue: Choeur  
13 Prologue: Entracte. Ouverture  
14 Acte Premier: Recitatif  
15 Acte Premier: Air  
16 Acte Premier: Musette en rondeau  
17 Acte Premier: Recitatif et choeur  
18 Acte Premier: Gavottes en musette  
19 Acte Premier: Air  
20 Acte Premier: Choeur  
21 Acte Premier: Petit choeur et recitatif  
22 Acte Premier: Recitatif et airs  
23 Acte Premier: Air  
24 Acte Premier: Petit choeur  
25 Acte Premier: Air pour les Bergers et Bergeres  
26 Acte Premier: Ariette  
27 Acte Premier: Gigue en rondeau  
28 Acte Premier: Recitatif, choeur, air et duo  
29 Acte Premier: Petit choeur accompagne  
30 Acte Premier: Tonnerre et air  
31 Acte Premier: Petit choeur et choeur  
32 Acte Premier: Trio et grand choeur  
33 Acte Second: Ritournelle  
34 Acte Second: Choeur avec coryphees  
35 Acte Second: Air  
36 Acte Second: Air pour les Heros et les Pretresses  
37 Acte Second: Entree des Suivans de Bacchus  
38 Acte Second: Air, ch?ur avec coryphee  
39 Acte Second: Air  
40 Acte Second: Symphonie, air  
41 Acte Second: Loure pour l'entree des Faunes  
42 Acte Second: Air pour les Suivans de Bacchus  
43 Acte Second: Airs  
44 Acte Second: Recitatif  
45 Acte Second: Air et choeur  
46 Acte Second: Recitatif  
47 Acte Second: Air  
48 Acte Second: Recitatif, air et recitatif  
49 Acte Second: Recitatif et air  
50 Acte Second: Recitatif, air et recitatif  
51 Acte Second: Ariette  
52 Acte Second: Duo  
53 Acte Second: Forlane pour les Suivans de Bacchus  
54 Acte Second: Gavotte en rondeau  
55 Acte Second: Ch?ur avec coryphee  
56 Acte Second: Entracte. Gavotte en rondeau (reprise)  
57 Troisieme Acte: Monologue  
58 Troisieme Acte: Recitatif  
59 Troisieme Acte: Recitatif, duo, recitatif  
60 Troisieme Acte: Duo, recitatif  
61 Troisieme Acte: Recitatif  
62 Troisieme Acte: Choeur  
63 Troisieme Acte: Air pour les Pretres et Pretresses  
64 Troisieme Acte: Recitatif  
65 Troisieme Acte: Premiere et deuxieme gavottes  
66 Troisieme Acte: Choeur, recitatif  
67 Troisieme Acte: Recitatif accompagne  
68 Troisieme Acte: Choeur avec coryphees  
69 Troisieme Acte: Recitatif  
70 Troisieme Acte: Descente de la Gloire. Recitatif et air  
71 Troisieme Acte: Entree des Suivants de la Gloire  
72 Troisieme Acte: Choeur avec coryphee  
73 Troisieme Acte: Gigue pour les Suivants de la Gloire  
74 Troisieme Acte: Recitatif, air, recitatif  
75 Troisieme Acte: Choeur  
76 Troisieme Acte: Entree des Seigneurs et des Dames - Passacaille  
77 Troisieme Acte: Choeur avec coryphee  
78 Troisieme Acte: Entree de Bergers et Bergeres  
79 Troisieme Acte: Ariette  
80 Troisieme Acte: Loure grae pour une entree brillante  
81 Troisieme Acte: Air pour les Romains et Romaines  
82 Troisieme Acte: Choeur avec coryphee  
83 Troisieme Acte: Entree de la jeunesse - Passepieds  
84 Troisieme Acte: Choeur  
85 Troisieme Acte: Recitatif et air  
86 Troisieme Acte: Suite de la Passacaille  
87 Troisieme Acte: Air pour les Romains et Romaines  
Rameau: Le Temple de la Gloire (The Making of a Modern Day Premiere)

In order to appease the somewhat provincial tastes of King Louis XV, composer Jean-Philippe Rameau and his librettist Voltaire altered the original version of Le Temple de la Gloire, and for centuries it was lost.  The manuscript was discovered-at the University of California, Berkeley's Jean Hargrove Music Library and was brought to the attention of conductor Nicholas McGegan.  For decades, maestro McGegan dreamed of reviving the original work-a dream realized in April 2017 through a partnership between Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Cal Performances at UC Berkeley, Centre de musique de Versailles in France and New York Baroque Dance Company.

Crossover Media Projects with: Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra