Bitterroot Baroque Les Délices

Thanks to Bitterroot Baroque, Les Délices - Music of the French Baroque - will be in Hamilton on Nov. 9 and 10. They will teach a Baroque dance workshop on Thursday and give a concert relating to the theme of Homer's Odyssey and Greek mythology on Friday.

The acclaimed group Les Délices will present music of the French Baroque with their performance of “Myths & Allegories” on Nov. 10, and a free workshop of baroque dance on Nov. 9 in Hamilton.

Bitterroot Baroque president Alex Shaffer called Les Délices a “top-flight group known for their creative programming and exquisitely professional performances.”

Friday is the concert, which includes tales from Homer’s Odyssey and instrumental chamber music inspired by Greek mythology. Debra Nagy, who formed the Les Délices group in 2009, said people don’t have to know anything about early music to enjoy this program.

“It is a program with a story,” Nagy said. “It is inspired by of Homer's Odyssey that is full of fantastical encounters that lend themselves to being set to music.”

One example involved the Sirens during the short trip that turned into seven years.

“When these magical women open their mouths, they sing a beautiful song that [in the Odyssey] will actually kill the listener,” Nagy said. “The music is beautiful and mesmerizing.”

Another example involves Penelope, Ulysses’ faithful wife, who is waiting for him to return.

“It’s a thread throughout the performance and it is nice to get the feminine perspective in there as well,” Nagy said. “Our program begins and ends with scenes from an opera called Ulysses. This story telling makes it a wonderful program.”

Nagy said it is unusual for people to hear the baroque oboe.

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“This is a great opportunity and it has a surprising sound compared to the modern oboe,” she said.

The concert has four instrumentalist musicians and a vocalist soprano. According to the Les Délices program, Nagy is “one of North America’s leading performers on the baroque oboe” and soprano Clara Rottsolk “has been lauded by The New York Times for her ‘clear, appealing voice and expressive conviction.’”

The Les Délices concert at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 10, will be at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 600 So. Third Street, in Hamilton. General admission is $25, students are $10.

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Julie Andrijeski is the baroque violinist and a specialist in baroque dance. She will lead a free workshop the night before the concert at 7 p.m. at River Street Dance Theater. The workshop is for children older than 8, high school and college students, and adults.

“It is a wonderful and unusual opportunity to gain an appreciation for the relationship between music and movement in the baroque era,” Nagy said. “It is also how the body can express the aesthetics of the baroque era.”

Participants will learn about body language, grace, noble bearing, and basic steps for the bourée, gavotte, and minuet.

Nagy recommends wearing comfortable clothing and shoes. Les Délices will provide music.

“We’ve never been to Montana and are quite excited to come,” Nagy said. “It will be a pleasure to experience it.”

For more information visit online bitterrootbaroque.org and lesdelices.org.