The English Concert’s annual Handel tour brings Solomon conducted by Harry Bicket to the US beginning Sunday March 5. In anticipation, Chris’s Cache offers Solomon plus four other oratorios by the master: Belshazzar, Hercules, Saul and Jephtha, all via broadcasts for which I feel a personal connection.
I wonder why many New Yorkers have been led to believe that the only Handel conductor in the world is Harry Bicket.
While it must be admitted that Elza van den Heever doesn’t have an ideally warm and agile Handel voice, she evidenced fierce control over her instrument and skillfully built a powerful portrait of the courageous Rodelida fighting for her survival.
Many New Yorkers think it’s the best bagel, but this week H&H names Trove Thursday’s bounteous anthology featuring the splendid long-running association between George Frideric Handel and Ann Hallenberg, his prime 21st century acolyte.
Jakub Józef Orlinski‘s “Stille amare” packed a lot of punch in terms of dramatic intensity.
Handel’s biting Agrippina finally arrived at the Metropolitan Opera Thursday evening 310 years after its Venetian premiere.
Kudos to Opera Philadelphia for programming Handel’s Semele in its exceptionally interesting and wide-ranging Festival 2019; unfortunately, despite an extraordinary cast, James Darrah’s drably dull production doomed it.
Here’s a quick sprint through some recent (and a few maybe not-so-very-recent) Handel CDs that have been stacking up.
Four fine Handel-centric concerts from the Morgan Library to Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center proved a bracing antidote to pervasive Messiah-mania.
Amadigi di Gaula performed the Opera Settecento orchestra last Saturday night at St. George—Handel’s own parish church—fit perfectly into the venue.
Iestyn Davies’s theatrical blandness combined with his vocal unsuitability for the role left a hole at the center of Rinaldo.
Director Barrie Kosky’s Glyndebourne 2015 production of Handel’s 1739 oratorio Saul (released on Opus Arte DVD) shows imagination as well as a strong cast and design team.
Director R.B. Schlather and his team explored Handel’s Orlando and the results, as seen at Monday night’s final presentation, proved uncommonly stimulating.
St. Paul’s Chapel is the perfect site for Saul, Handel’s finest dramatic oratorio.
His shaved head in striking contrast to his dark beard and glinting eyes, the implacable Tartar conqueror glowers at us from the CD cover, while the uncropped photo of countertenor Xavier Sabata (above) is even more disturbing, featuring his raised fist and forearm tightly wrapped in a leather belt.
Sunday afternoon’s intermittently involving concert performance of Handel’s Alcina at Carnegie Hall starred an unusually intense Joyce DiDonato as a powerful sorceress blinded by her romantic delusions.
For those who like their Handel loud, with no forfeit of baroque finesse, one promising solution is to make the hall smaller.
Here’s a last-minute alert to a bit of baroque in downtown NYC: the project WhiteboxLab: SoundLounge will livestream performances of Handel’s Alcina tonight and tomorrow night (Sunday) starting each evening at 7:00 PM.
Joined by the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, The English Concert concluded the US leg of its current tour at Carnegie Hall Sunday with a complete performance of the darkly moving Theodora, Handel’s penultimate oratorio.
From an early Mike Richter CD-ROM, “Odd Opera” comes this gem, a live performance of Handel’s Semele at Carnegie Hall on February 23, 1985, the 300th anniversary of the composer’s birth.
Handel’s first surviving musical composition is Almira, the opera he wrote in a hurry when shake-ups at the Hamburg opera house, where the 19-year-old had been playing in the violin section, left a planned production unfinished.
Probably no more than 100 gathered Tuesday in a curtained-off space in the lobby of NYC’s Gershwin Hotel to witness the North American premiere of Rodrigo by operamission.
Nearly 30 years after a Handel opera last played there, Carnegie Hall presented The English Concert opening a three-year opera-oratorio project on Sunday afternoon with Radamisto.
Sneaking in under the wire during the final week of May were two highpoints of New York’s opera season: the Cleveland Orchestra’s Salome with a stunning Nina Stemme and operamission’s revelatory US stage premiere of a complete edition of Handel’s first opera Almira.