Friday, 4 September 2020

Handel and Purcell, Britain's Orpheus: English Concert's series of live-streamed concerts

Purcell's duet 'O that my grief' (Reproduced by permission of the Royal College of Music, London)
Purcell's recently discovered duet O that my grief
(Reproduced by permission of the Royal College of Music, London)

Under the banner of Handel and Purcell, Britain's Orpheus the English Concert, artistic director Harry Bicket, is giving a series of concerts in October in historic London venues which will be live-streamed. The programmes are based around vocal and instrumental music by Handel and by Purcell, with a headline-grabbing first performance in modern times of a recently discovered duet by Purcell.

The series opens on 1 October with a concert from the Great Hall of Bart's Hospital which is a recreation of part of Handel's first benefit concert for the Foundling Hospital, including excerpts from Handel's Solomon and Foundling Anthem with Sophie Bevan, Soraya Mafi, Sarah Connolly and James Way. This concert will be free to view and viewers encouraged to donate, the remaining concerts in the series are pay per view. 

The programmes include counter-tenor Iestyn Davies in Purcell in the Great Hall of Eltham Palace, music by Purcell directed by Kristian Bezuidenhout with soloists Hugo Hymas and Anthony Gregory performing Come Ye Sons of Art and the newly discovered duet in St John's Smith Square, soprano Lucy Crowe in arias from Handel's Italian operas at Somerset House, Trevor Pinnock directing chamber music by Handel and Purcell at Weston Park in Shrophsire, and music by Handel and Arne inspired by Milton with Carolyn Sampson and Mark Padmore at the church of St Giles without Cripplegate (which houses a statue of Milton).

Full details from the orchestra's website.

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