Patrick Dupre Quigley Named Artistic Director Designate
Washington, DC – Opera Lafayette’s Founder and Artistic Director Ryan Brown has announced he will be passing the reins in 2025 after Opera Lafayette’s 30th season. Opera Lafayette has announced Brown’s successor, appointing Patrick Dupre Quigley as Artistic Director Designate. Quigley’s new role is effective immediately, and he will work closely with Brown for the next two seasons along with the musicians, audience, staff, and board to ensure the continuation of the vibrant, decades-long standard set by Brown and Opera Lafayette.
Quigley joins Opera Lafayette via Seraphic Fire in Miami, FL where he serves as Founder and Artistic Director of the critically-acclaimed vocal ensemble. Opera Lafayette audiences will recognize his name from last season’s Pergolesi production, for which he was Guest Conductor. Quigley is known for his engaging performances of historically-informed programming that draw in new audiences and delight regular concertgoers.
“Opera Lafayette fills a unique place in America’s musical life, and Quigley brings all the qualities that can broaden the importance and significance of our work,” Brown says. “He is an outstanding musician and conductor with an entrepreneurial spirit. Moreover, he is a caring human being who understands the nature of arts organizations and the crucial role they play in enriching the lives of artists, audience, and the public at large. I look forward to working with Patrick over the next two years and eagerly await the wonderful experiences he will bring us in the future.”
While serving as Artistic Director Designate, Quigley will conduct Edmond Dede’s Morgain, ou, Le Sultan d’Isphahan as part of Opera Lafayette’s transitional 30th season (2024/25). The piece is the first known opera by a Black American – a violinist, conductor and composer raised in New Orleans who made his career in France in the 19th century. Quigley himself is originally from New Orleans, a city whose significance in American musical history Opera Lafayette has highlighted with several past productions. This production, in collaboration with New Orleans’ historical opera company, Opera Creole, will expand on this work of rediscovery.
Following this production, Quigley will assume full Artistic Directorship on July 1, 2025, as the organization moves into its 31st season (2025/26).
Brown’s entrepreneurial spirit has established Opera Lafayette as a leading interpreter of music from the 17th to the 19th centuries and the only opera company to perform its full season in both Washington, DC and New York City. In addition to their productions, under Brown’s helm, Opera Lafayette has issued over a dozen recordings and three DVDs on the Naxos label, ensuring a rich legacy of the timeless repertoire and of Brown’s artistry.
Brown founded Opera Lafayette in 1995 as The Violins of Lafayette. The company was part of a period instrument renaissance, a movement that provided a primary avenue for performing musicians searching for new ways to explore music of the past. The debut season took place in the Salon Doré of the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC and featured four chamber music concerts by some of France’s greatest 18th-century composers. In 2001, the company was reincorporated as Opera Lafayette, reflecting their increasing concentration on opera that unites musical, vocal, and choreography to present richly nuanced realizations of the 17th–through–19th–century repertoire. In 2012 and again in 2014, Opera Lafayette achieved international fame when, at the invitation of Château de Versailles Spectacles, the organization was invited to perform at Opera Royal in Versailles, France, closing with five sold-out performances.
“It is an incredible honor to follow the revolutionary tenure of Ryan Brown and join the Opera Lafayette family as Artistic Director Designate,” Quigley says. “Opera Lafayette, under the direction of Maestro Brown, has exemplified the qualities of a 21st century arts organization. They have been uncompromising in artistic quality and indefatigable in creative energy, while constantly pushing the boundaries of what it means to be an historical opera company.”
The Opera Lafayette 2023/24 season will be announced in the coming weeks. Visit operalafayette.org for more information.
A leading interpreter of music from the 17th to the 19th centuries, Opera Lafayette performs little-known operatic gems and creates a legacy of these works through recordings. Incorporating dance, stunning costumes, and intimate staging with rising star singers and musicians playing period instruments, an Opera Lafayette performance transports its audiences to an era when beauty and captivating storytelling were the order of the day. Opera Lafayette gives new life to centuries’ old compositions, supported by scholarly research that highlights both the historical context of these works and their relevance to today’s world. Through this unique combination of entertainment and education, audiences discover opera in a whole new light. operalafayette.org