Ryan Brown is the founder, conductor, and artistic director of Opera Lafayette, an early-music opera company established in 1995 and based in Washington, D.C. Through his work with Opera Lafayette, Mr. Brown has become a leading figure in the revival of 18th-century opera. His vivid explorations of the French repertoire in particular have earned him an international reputation, receiving the highest praise from critics in the United States and abroad.
Following a tour to New York City, Opera Lafayette made its debut at the Opéra Royal in Versailles in February 2012, performing Pierre- Alexandre Monsigny’s Le Roi et le fermier. They included the same sets utilized for a performance of the same opera by Marie Antoinette at Versailles in 1780. Opera Lafayette’s performances have highlighted the various traditions of the tragédie lyrique, the opéra-ballet, the opéra-comique, the pastorale, and the dramma-giocoso genres.
Mr. Brown’s discography for Naxos includes masterpieces by well-known 18th-century composers as well as discoveries of their contemporaries (Gluck’s Orphée et Euridice and Sacchini’s Œdipe à Colone, Rameau Operatic Arias, and Rebel and Francœur’s Zélindor, roi des Sylphes), works which exemplify traditions in the 17th century (Lully’s Armide), and those which point the way toward the music of the 19th century (Monsigny’s Le Déserteur).
Mr. Brown was raised in a musical family in California, and performed extensively as a violinist and chamber musician in New York and on tour before turning his attention to conducting. In 2012 he will make his debut with the Seattle Symphony.