Holy Trinity Church, Bradford on Avon BA15 1LW
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Conductor: Christian Curnyn
Orchestra: Early Opera Company Ensemble
Cast: To be announced
Acis, a shepherd and Galatea, a nymph, are blissfully in love. Their idyll is darkened by a louring cyclops, the giant Polyphemus, who stalks Galatea. He is obsessed, and burns with brutish lust. When his grotesque serenades fail to draw Galatea he simply crushes Acis to death with a boulder. There follows one of Handel’s most breathtaking musical moments as he depicts a transcendent and mystical process: as Acis dies he is transformed, through Galatea’s love, into a bubbling spring, and returns to the natural world.
For its first performance in 1718 in the garden of Cannons on the outskirts of London, for the Earl of Carnavon, young Handel brought/brings to this, his first English masterpiece, all the astonishing variety of invention which later secures his recognition as one of the all time greats of opera composition. The music is always accessible, infectious and affecting. The moods move poignantly from pastoral lyricism to grim tragedy with a heart lifting ending.
Iford Arts is truly delighted and flattered to welcome again Christian Curnyn and the familiar virtuosi of Early Opera Company who trail an awesome reputation for their many national and international performances in the most prestigious venues. (And their ever-growing list of award-winning recordings, includes most recently, Acis and Galatea, 2018).
Holy Trinity Church, situated by the river, in the heart of Bradford on Avon, is a 12th century building which has recently undergone a £2million transformation. Still the parish church it is newly revealed as a truly gracious, open, warmly welcoming honeystone hall with something of the feel of a renaissance palazzo ann a lovely acoustic (and a bar). We are thrilled to be able to use it for this unique and very special occasion. Book early. We anticipate high demand for this renowned company.
‘Find anything exciting happening in period opera in the UK and Curnyn will be involved, whether it’s conducting at the Wanamaker or ENO, recording Handel or directing his own projects’ Alexandra Coghlan, The Spectator