Monday 27 July 2009

Handel returns to the Barber Institute

In the 1960's the Barber Institute in Birmingham created a series of staged performances of Handel's operas, under the Professor of Music Anthony Lewis. These stagings, using singers as distinguished as Janet Baker, were highly influential in the revival of Handelian opera seria in stagings which respected the music's form and the allocation of voice types.

Since 1986 opera performance has played a lesser role in the Barber programme but to celebrate Handel's anniversary and the 50th anniversary of the Institute's founding in 1959, they are staging Handel's Agrippina on 23rd, 25th and 26th September. Clive Timms, the Professor of Music, conducts with Emily van Evera as Agrippina. They are adopting an interesting mixed approach to the language of the piece, singing the recitatives in English and the arias in Italian.

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