Other than Israel in Egypt and Messiah, Handel’s English oratorios aren’t all that different from his operas—characters under duress trading da capo arias—except for all those choruses. But what choruses! William Christie’s Les Arts Florissants made a much-anticipated appearance at Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival Saturday performing Theodora and the always stellar group reveled in that demanding work’s magnificent choruses transforming them into the highpoints of an otherwise oddly unmoving evening. Read more »
Many large opera companies these days host valuable young artist programs dedicated to helping singers negotiate the difficult transition between leaving the conservatory and becoming full-time performing artists. Yet few independent organizations have the resources to do the same; however, the French Early Music ensemble Les Arts Florissants has since 2002 been regularly convening an acclaimed “baroque academy,” and the laureates of its seventh edition arrived at Alice Tully Hall on Thursday with an enchanting entertainment called “In an Italian Garden.” Read more »
Ordinarily it might have been surprising to see Alice Tully Hall sold out on a Monday evening in December for Handel’s rare early oratorio La Resurrezione with young singers accompanied by a student orchestra. But, for many in New York and around the world, if the name William Christie appears on a concert or opera program, it’s a must-attend. So since the founding in 2009 of the period-instrument orchestra Juilliard 415 as part of that school’s Historical Performance program Christie’s annual visits to conduct it have become essential events. Read more »
Heaven temporarily relocated to the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées Sunday evening for a concert performance of Rossini’s revered but rarely heard Semiramide.
Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s opera David et Jonathas, written for a celebration at a Jesuit school in 1688, premiered together with a Latin verse drama, Saul, now lost.
For decades thousands and thousands have attended Handel’s Messiah (usually around Christmas or more appropriately near Easter) making it easily one of the most widely known works of classical music.