Friday 26 August 2016

Drama to the fore - English Concert 2016/17

Joyce Di Donato in Act 1 of Handel's Alcina  with Harry Bicket and the English Concert photo credit Mark Allan/Barbican
Joyce Di Donato in Act 1 of Handel's Alcina  in 2014
with Harry Bicket and the English Concert. photo credit Mark Allan/Barbican
The English Concert's 2016/17 season has an interesting selection of Handel alongside, music for Don Quixote, Shakespeare and much else besides.

Harry Bicket will direct the orchestra in Handel's Messiah in April 2017, for Tom Morris's staging of the work at the Bristol Old Vic, with soloists including Anna Devin, Catherine Wyn Rogers and Joshua Ellicot. And later the same month, the Harry Bicket and the orchestra will be taking a semi-staged version of Handel's Ariodante on tour, with Joyce DiDonato in the title role, Christiane Karg as Ginevra, Joelle Harvey as Dalinda, and Sonia Prina as Polinesso. Ariodante will tour to the Barbican, Paris, Hamburg, Austria and the USA (Michigan, Kansas, Washington DC and Carnegie Hall in New York).

Purcell and Telemann's music for stage adaptations of Cervantes' Don Quixote gives us a chance to compare and contrast, when Harry Bicket directs the orchestra at the Wigmore Hall, with soprano Anna Devin and bass Matthew Brook in a concert which opens the orchestra's season. and marks the 400th anniversary of Miguel de Cervantes. Returning to Wigmore Hall on 31 December, The English Concert will ring in the New Year with a celebratory concert, performing a selection of baroque masterpieces by Purcell, Corelli, Vivaldi, Handel and more.

As ever, the orchestra is touring both in the UK and further afield. A Baroque Masters programme directed by Harry Bicket, with music by Purcell, Corelli, Telemann, Vivaldi, Handel and Bach, will tour to Stamford, Taunton, Great Malvern and Birmingham in collaboration with Orchestras Live. A Shakespeare in Love programme, which combines music by Purcell and by Handel with soprano Mary Bevan and counter-tenor Tim Mead, will be performed in Great Malvern and London as well as the Far East. Violinist Rachel Podger directs a programme of music by Bach, CPE Bach, and Telemann in Saffron Walden, Taunton, Antwerp and the Wigmore Hall.

Full details from the English Concert's website.

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