Handel's Semele Be careful what you wish for.
Wednesday 18 October 2017 Royal Festival Hall 7pm
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Six Chapters of Enlightenment - Part One Visions, Illusions and Delusions 'You see everything through the lens of your own system'. - Denis Diderot From now until 2023, we’re going back to our roots. Not one, not two, but Six Chapters of Enlightenment. Six special seasons exploring the golden age of science and philosophy that gave our Orchestra its name. Each year we’ll be exploring different ideas handed down to us by the great Enlightenment authors of social freedom, human rights and equality, and the scientific pioneers who gave us everything from vaccination and cataract surgery to fizzy drinks. In 2017-18, we open our first chapter, Visions, Illusions and Delusions. Shaken out of old certainties by quantum leaps in science, the Enlightenment started with radical doubts: Is seeing believing? Should we really judge by appearances? Who can I trust? Is love what you think it is? What is right and what is wrong? We’ll be exploring these questions, be it through characters like Judas, Semele and Berenice, musicians that are always confounding expectations, such as Nicola Benedetti and Sir András Schiff, or the jokes and hidden secrets of Mozart’s scores. If you’re new to the Orchestra, you should know that we play on instruments from the period the music was written. Each concert needs hours of research to understand centuries of performance tradition, making old music new. If you’re already a fan, our lovingly-crafted performances will be combined more than ever with special efforts to help you discover what the composers were thinking, and how the times they lived in influenced their music. 05
Concert repertoire and soloists 08 Orchestra and Choir 10 Programme note 12 Is love what you think it is? Roman Krznaric 16 Biographies 20 Support us 24 Libretto William Congreve 26 OAE team 36 OAE news 37 Supporters 38 OAE Education 42 Upcoming concerts 44
Concert repertoire and soloists
Wednesday 18 October 2017 Royal Festival Hall 7pm The concert will finish at approximately 10pm, there will be one 20 minute interval. Handel â€“ Semele Christophe Rousset - conductor Louise Alder - Semele James Way - Jupiter
Concert supported by Sir Vernon and Lady Ellis Adrian Frost Nigel Jones and FranĂ§oise Valat-Jones Haakon and Imogen Overli Ivor Samuels and Gerry Wakelin
Ray Chenez - Athamas Ashley Riches - Somnus/ Cadmus Rowan Pierce - Iris Catherine Wyn-Rogers - Juno Ciara Hendrick - Ino Jeremy Budd - Apollo Robert Davies - High Priest Choir of the Age of Enlightenment Pre-concert event The Six Varieties of Love, with Roman Krznaric 6pm Level Five Function Room, Royal Festival Hall Philosopher Roman Krznaric explores the idea of love in Semele, and how our understanding of love has changed through the ages.
Roger Montgomery â€“ Principal Horn
Orchestra and Choir
Orchestra Violins 1 Margaret Faultless Anna Curzon Daniel Edgar Alice Evans Alison Bury Claire Holden Sophie Barber Ellen Bundy* Kathryn Parry Violins 2 Huw Daniel Julia Kuhn Stephen Rouse Roy Mowatt Rachel Isserlis Justyna Skatulnik* Christiane Dahl Eidsten Violas Simone Jandl Annette Isserlis Martin Kelly Victoria Bernath* Nicholas Logie
Cellos Luise Buchberger Andrew Skidmore Helen Verney Octavie Dostaler-Lalonde* Ruth Alford Bass Margaret Urquhart Christine Sticher Oboe Katharina Spreckelsen Shai Kribus
Trumpets David Blackadder Phillip Bainbridge Timpani Benedict Hoffnung Keyboard Steven Devine Robert Howarth Lute Paula Chateauneuf
Bassoon Zoe Shevlin Hayley Pullen
*Part of the Ann and Peter Law OAE Experience Scheme for talented young players
Horns Roger Montgomery Martin Lawrence
Choir of the Age of Enlightenment Soprano Charlotte Beament* Zoe Brookshaw Susan Gilmour Bailey Alice Gribbin Angharad Gruffyd Jones Jenni Harper Hannah King Kirsty Hopkins Helen Lacey Emma Walshe
Tenor Matthew Beale Jeremy Budd John Bowen Ruari Bowen Richard Dowling George Pooley Simon Wall
Alto Lucy Ballard Nancy Cole Rebekah Jones Ruth Kiang Martha McLorinan David Clegg Tom Lilburn Tim Travers-Brown
Bass Francis Brett Michael Craddock Robert Davies (High Priest) William Gaunt Brian McAlea Benjamin Rowarth *Part of the OAE Rising Stars Scheme Phillip Tebb Dingle Yandell*
Steven Devine â€“ Co-Principal Keyboard
Programme note Andrew Mellor
The interior of Theatre-Royal, Covent Garden (1808), where Semele was first performed.
‘We forsake nature and commit ourselves to the public, a bad guide in anything.’ How right William Congreve was – present company excepted – when he etched those words from Seneca’s Epistles at the top of his libretto for Semele on the occasion of its publishing in 1710.
As he did so, a rabble of aristocrats attempted to lure Handel back into the world of Italian opera but on their own terms. It was too late. Handel had seen where his future lay, believing his new path would lead him back to public popularity without recourse to aristocratic patronage.
Over three decades later, when he came to set Congreve’s libretto to music, George Frideric Handel would doubtless have agreed with his posthumous collaborator. In the 1740s, Handel was walking a stylistic tightrope, battered by the side-winds of commercial interest, aristocratic will, ecclesiastical decree and public whim. He wrote Semele in the space of a month and a day in the summer of 1743, investing it with the care, thought, craftsmanship and sprinkling of genius that we would expect. But for the next two centuries, the piece would be subjected to public and critical opinion that was just as partisan, flighty and ill informed as that which Congreve had bemoaned. But to be fair, we the public had our reasons…
Unlike Messiah, most oratorios were purely narrative pieces: stories with a sacred bent and clear Christian message often lifted straight from the Bible. Messiah, which could and would be performed in churches, delighted the ecclesiastical authorities because of its devotional, quasi-liturgical footing. Handel’s late, great oratorios Jephtha and Theodora were effectively straightforward dramas – narrative sermons in music.
Opera or Oratorio? Up to 1740 or thereabouts, Handel had made his name in London as a composer of operas composed in the Italian style. It suited him nicely, until that style began to slip from fashion. Though Handel made a career-long demonstration of his ability to adapt according to taste, on this particular development he remained stubborn while being hamstrung by circumstance. Convinced by the validity and increasing quality of his Italian operas, Handel momentarily despaired at the public’s sudden and fickle lack of appreciation for them.
Semele, which came before both those two late works and in some ways points towards them, was different. It was altogether more operatic, if not in a dramatic sense then in an interpersonal, humorous, erotic and intrigue-fuelled one (it is hard to imagine either Messiah or Theodora including a dragon). Handel billed the piece as ‘an English oratorio’, but many begged to differ. Charles Jennens, Messiah’s librettist, boycotted the revival of the work in December 1744 and referred to it later as ‘a bawdy opera’. Others, including the husband of one of Handel’s most adoring groupies, a certain Mrs Delany, stayed away from the piece during its first run at the Covent Garden Theatre, believing it profane. Handel’s biographer John Mainwaring wrote that in Semele, the composer ‘seemed to be forming a sort of alliance between things usually considered in a state of natural opposition: the church and the theatre.’
But rather than give the public what they said they wanted, Handel gave them what they didn’t yet know they wanted. Starting with the landmark masterpiece Messiah, Handel bypassed the precarious system of protections that existed on the London stage (at the time, only a few London theatres held a license for operatic performance and those were controlled by fearsome impresarios whom Handel was tired of placating) by taking the fledgling form of the ‘oratorio’ and making it his own.
That, of course, was part of the plan. Handel was keen to pursue the psychological and dramatic techniques he’d been exploring in Italian opera, but was convinced he could do so in the context of narrative oratorios that were rather more grounded and gritty than Messiah. But as with so many transitional works, Semele suffered where the likes of Messiah and Theodora (eventually) triumphed. Advances in Handel’s musical language aside, many of the composer’s subscribers simply couldn’t get a handle on what they were hearing: was this English oratorio actually an Italian opera in disguise? It certainly was. 'The Story of Semele' The most obvious reason being, Semele is a secular tale. Congreve fashioned his libretto from a story in Ovid’s Metamorphoses telling of Semele, a beautiful but incorrigibly vain mortal whom the god Jupiter has taken as his lover. Juno, Jupiter’s wife, is understandably unhappy with the situation and persuades Semele to bribe Jupiter into granting her immortality by depriving him of sexual favours until he does so. The tricked Semele, believing herself more beautiful than ever courtesy of a magic mirror, demands that Jupiter appear to her as his true self. When he does, she is burned to cinders. Congreve’s libretto had been set before. But that project, with the composer John Eccles at the helm, had been troubled from start to finish. Handel probably knew of the piece (he knew Eccles) and started by tweaking the libretto himself, in collaboration with Newburgh Hamilton. Together they reduced the recitatives and inserted stanzas suitable for a chorus. They raided other works by Congreve for additional poetic material, which is the provenance of ‘The morning lark’ (Act I) and ‘My racking thoughts’ (Act III), both of which came from Congreve’s elegy To Sleep, and for the choruses (the final chorus, ‘Happy, happy shall we be’ was written especially) which helped most disguise the work.
Jupiter and Semele, from 'Game of Mythology', by Stefano della Bella
The work’s most famous aria, ‘Where’er you walk’, sets a text not by Congreve but plucked from Alexander Pope’s pastoral Summer (when the piece had its only revival, ten months after the first performances in February 1744, five Italian arias were added from Handel’s own operas including Alcina and Arminio). In fact, the most significant of Handel’s tweaks are also the least obvious. The aria ‘Endless pleasure’ was ascribed by Congreve to a bit part, one of the Augurs. Handel put those words into the mouth of Semele herself, an act which ‘brilliantly establishes her [Semele’s] precocious charm and silly vanity’, for the Handel expert David Vickers. Handel also exorcised some of the text’s mannerisms and pretensions, increasing its ready drama and, no doubt, playing straight into the hands of those who believed the piece too operatic and too dramatic to qualify as an oratorio presented for performance in Lent.
Drama in Music True enough: listening to Semele, it’s clear that Handel relished the story’s mixture of the supernatural, the witty, the sensual, the tragic and the euphoric – not to mention the many more subtle and psychological emotions that come with ambition, insecurity, omnipotence and vanity. Handel’s music is full of such passions, and a new ebullient vitality too. Vickers has pointed to the imaginative directions Handel used to instruct the performance style of certain arias: Alla gavotta (‘as if dancing a Gavotte’) for ‘Endless pleasure’; Alla hornpipe (‘as if dancing a hornpipe’) for ‘Now love that everlasting boy.’
Handel does it all with an orchestra that only occasionally reaches for the colour of oboes and bassoons, and uses brass even less. Perhaps that explains the buoyancy in the choruses and in the music in general, which renders even Handel’s fugues – the complex, staggered, multi-voiced musical conversations that take root in the Act II chorus ‘Bless the glad earth’ and elsewhere – so light on their feet; perhaps more Italian and operatic than English and ecclesiastical, even though the sacred reference was intended. These days, the world seems to have decided that Semele absolutely is an opera despite the composer’s own label for it. But a concert performance such as this affords us the opportunity to make an objective judgment on that front based on words and music alone.
No wonder some in the audience were shocked. ‘Where they expected wholesome Lenten bread, they received a glittering stone dug from the ruins of Greek mythology’ wrote the critic Winton Dean after the first performance. But factions among the die-hard opera crowd weren’t happy either. ‘All the opera people are enraged at Handel’, wrote Mrs Delany; presumably their disdain was stoked by the aristocrats whom Handel had spurned and who wanted the piece for their own. Delany herself had nothing but praise for the work. ‘It is a delightful piece of music, quite new and different from anything he has done’, she wrote, attending all four of the first run of performances; ‘the more I hear it, the better I like it.’ Without being too presumptuous, we can hazard a guess at what might have delighted her ears – notwithstanding the talents of Élisabeth Duparc, one of Handel’s favourite singers, who appeared in the title role. That role is invested with a complexity of characterization typical of Handel; we may seethe at Semele’s vanity and recklessness and we may feel the allure of her charm, but we sense her vulnerability too (here in the twentieth century, the work’s prescient critique of the fashion industry seems uncanny).
Is love what you think it is? Roman Krznaric – Social Philosopher
Looking for an antidote to modern culture's emphasis on romantic love? Perhaps we can learn from the diverse forms of emotional attachment prized by the ancient Greeks. Today's coffee culture has an incredibly sophisticated vocabulary. Do you want a cappuccino, an espresso, a skinny latte, or maybe an iced caramel macchiato? The ancient Greeks were just as sophisticated in the way they talked about love, recognizing six different varieties. They would have been shocked by our crudeness in using a single word both to whisper "l love you" over a candlelit meal and to casually sign an email "lots of love." So what were the six loves known to the Greeks? And how can they inspire us to move beyond our current addiction to romantic love, which has 94 percent of young people hoping—but often failing—to find a unique soul mate who can satisfy all their emotional needs? 1. Eros, or sexual passion The first kind of love was eros, named after the Greek god of fertility, and it represented the idea of sexual passion and desire. But the Greeks didn't always think of it as something positive, as we tend to do today. In fact, eros was viewed as a dangerous, fiery, and irrational form of love that could take hold of you and possess you—an attitude shared by many later spiritual thinkers, such as the Christian writer C.S. Lewis. Eros involved a loss of control that frightened the Greeks. Which is odd, because losing control is precisely what many people now seek in a relationship. Don't we all hope to fall "madly" in love? 2. Philia, or deep friendship The second variety of love was philia or friendship, which the Greeks valued far more than the base sexuality of eros. Philia concerned the deep comradely friendship that developed between brothers in arms who had fought side by side on the battlefield. It was about showing loyalty to your friends, sacrificing for them, as well as sharing your emotions with them.
(Another kind of philia, sometimes called storge, embodied the love between parents and their children.) We can all ask ourselves how much of this comradely philia we have in our lives. It's an important question in an age when we attempt to amass "friends" on Facebook or "followers" on Twitter—achievements that would have hardly impressed the Greeks. 3. Ludus, or playful love This was the Greeks' idea of playful love, which referred to the affection between children or young lovers. We've all had a taste of it in the flirting and teasing in the early stages of a relationship. But we also live out our ludus when we sit around in a bar bantering and laughing with friends, or when we go out dancing. Dancing with strangers may be the ultimate ludic activity, almost a playful substitute for sex itself. Social norms may frown on this kind of adult frivolity, but a little more ludus might be just what we need to spice up our love lives. 4. Agape, or love for everyone The fourth love, and perhaps the most radical, was agape or selfless love. This was a love that you extended to all people, whether family members or distant strangers. Agape was later translated into Latin as caritas, which is the origin of our word "charity." C.S. Lewis referred to it as "gift love," the highest form of Christian love. But it also appears in other religious traditions, such as the idea of mettā or "universal loving kindness" in Theravāda Buddhism. There is growing evidence that agape is in a dangerous decline in many countries. Empathy levels in the U.S. have declined sharply over the past 40 years, with the steepest fall occurring in the past decade. We urgently need to revive our capacity to care about strangers.
A healthier version enhanced your wider capacity to love. The idea was that if you like yourself and feel secure in yourself, you will have plenty of love to give others (as is reflected in the Buddhist-inspired concept of "self-compassion"). Or, as Aristotle put it, "All friendly feelings for others are an extension of a man's feelings for himself." The ancient Greeks found diverse kinds of love in relationships with a wide range of peopleâ€”friends, family, spouses, strangers, and even themselves. This contrasts with our typical focus on a single romantic relationship, where we hope to find all the different loves wrapped into a single person or soul mate. The message from the Greeks is to nurture the varieties of love and tap into its many sources. Don't just seek eros, but cultivate philia by spending more time with old friends, or develop ludus by dancing the night away.
5. Pragma, or longstanding love Another Greek love was the mature love known as pragma. This was the deep understanding that developed between long-married couples. Pragma was about making compromises to help the relationship work over time, and showing patience and tolerance. The psychoanalyst Erich Fromm said that we expend too much energy on "falling in love" and need to learn more how to "stand in love." Pragma is precisely about standing in loveâ€”making an effort to give love rather than just receive it. With about a third of first marriages in the U.S. ending through divorce or separation in the first 10 years, the Greeks would surely think we should bring a serious dose of pragma into our relationships. 6. Philautia, or love of the self The Greek's sixth variety of love was philautia or self-love. And the clever Greeks realized there were two types. One was an unhealthy variety associated with narcissism, where you became self-obsessed and focused on personal fame and fortune.
Moreover, we should abandon our obsession with perfection. Don't expect your partner to offer you all the varieties of love, all of the time (with the danger that you may toss aside a partner who fails to live up to your desires). Recognize that a relationship may begin with plenty of eros and ludus, then evolve toward embodying more pragma or agape. The diverse Greek system of loves can also provide consolation. By mapping out the extent to which all six loves are present in your life, you might discover you've got a lot more love than you had ever imaginedâ€”even if you feel an absence of a physical lover. It's time we introduced the six varieties of Greek love into our everyday way of speaking and thinking. If the art of coffee deserves its own sophisticated vocabulary, then why not the art of love?
Roman Krznaric is an Australian cultural thinker and cofounder of The School of Life in London. This article is based on his book, The Wonderbox: Curious Histories of How To Live and was originally published in Yes! Magazine yesmagazine.org. Roman discusses the idea of love in Semele, and how our perception of the story has changed through the ages, in our pre-concert talk in Level 5 Function Room, Royal Festival Hall, at 6pm. 017
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Christophe Rousset – conductor
Louise Alder – Semele
Christophe Rousset, the founder of the Les Talens Lyriques and an internationally renowned harpsichordist, is a musician and an orchestral conductor inspired by a passion for opera and the rediscovery of the European musical heritage. After initially attracting attention for his extraordinary talent as a harpsichordist, he soon made his mark as a conductor, with invitations from around the world to perform with his ensemble. Alongside this, he has continued to pursue an active career as harpsichordist and chamber musician. His complete performances of the works for harpsichord of F. Couperin, Rameau, d’Anglebert and Forqueray and various recordings of pieces by J. S. Bach are considered landmarks.
Winner of the Young Singer Award at the 2017 International Opera Awards and the Dame Joan Sutherland Audience Prize at the 2017 Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, Louise is a member of the Frankfurt Opera Ensemble where her roles have so far included Gilda, Gretel, Susanna, Sophie, Vixen Sharp Ears and Cleopatra.
Christophe also has a career as guest conductor (Liceu Barcelona, San Carlo Naples, La Scala Milan, Opéra Royal de Wallonie, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic, among other orchestras) as well as the active pursuit of musical research and tuition.
Elsewhere she has sung with the Royal Opera, Glyndebourne, Garsington and WNO. Future seasons include further roles in Frankfurt; returns to the Royal Opera, Glyndebourne and Garsington and debuts at Madrid’s Teatro Réal and Munich’s Bayerische Staatsoper. Her 2017/18 engagements include the Royal Flemish Philharmonic/Egarr, Royal Northern Sinfonia/ Bicket & McCreesh, Arcangelo/Cohen, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Thomas Dausgaard and recitals in London, Cardiff, Glasgow and Madrid.
James Way – Jupiter
Ray Chenez - Athamas
Tenor James Way was awarded 2nd Prize in the 62nd Kathleen Ferrier Awards. He was also awarded the 2016 Simon Sandbach Award from Garsington Opera and is a former Britten-Pears Young Artist.
Ray Chenez was named one of this generation’s rising stars by Opera News. He is a winner of the George London Award, and has appeared in many prestigious venues internationally including Theater an der Wien, Opéra National de Bordeaux, Opéra Royal de Versailles, Grand Théâtre de Genève, and Carnegie Hall. His roles include Nerone in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea; Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro; Teseo in Porpora’s Arianna in Nasso; Hunahpú in Purcell’s The Indian Queen; Marzia in Leonardo Vinci’s Catone in Utica; Nutrice/ Amore in Luigi Rossi’s Orfeo; Olinto in Hasse’s Demetrio; and Achille in Luigi Cherubini’s Ifigenia in Aulide.
Opera credits include his debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra singing the Holy Fool (Boris Godunov) at the Royal Festival Hall; the Ballad Singer (Owen Wingrave) for the Aldeburgh and Edinburgh International Festivals, and roles at Garsington Opera including 'Davy' in Roxanna Panufnik’s Silver Birch. James was selected for the prestigious OAE Rising Stars of the Enlightenment programme for the 17-8 and 18-19 seasons. 020
Ashley Riches – Somnus/Cadmus
Ciara Hendrick – Ino
British bass-baritone Ashley Riches studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and subsequently joined the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera House. This season he joins the BBC New Generation Artist scheme.
Ciara Hendrick studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Strasbourg Opera Studio. Recent engagements include Fortuna/Valetto, The Coronation of Poppea, Opera North; Rosmilda, Elpidia (Handel), Halle Handel Festival; Messaggiera, Orfeo (Monteverdi) I Fagiolini; St John Passion, Barbican; and Daniel, Susanna (Handel) with Laurence Cummings.
His operatic roles include Morales (Carmen), Mandarin (Turandot), Baron Douphol (La Traviata) and Officer Les Dialogues des Carmelites for the Royal Opera, Schaunard (La Bohème) and the Pirate King (The Pirates of Penzance) for ENO, The Fairy Queen with the Academy of Ancient Music, and Christmas Oratorio on tour with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Engagements this season include his first Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro) at English National Opera, Claudio Agrippina at the Grange Festival, Purcell’s King Arthur with the Academy of Ancient Music and concerts with Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Bremen Philharmonic, BBC NOW and recitals at Wigmore Hall and Oxford Lieder.
Rowan Pierce - Iris Yorkshire born Rowan Pierce is a Samling Artist who has performed at the BBC Proms, Wigmore Hall, Sage Gateshead, Cheltenham, Ludlow, Bath and Ryedale Festivals with ensembles including the Gabrieli Consort, Florilegium, Scottish Chamber, City of Birmingham Symphony and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestras. Prizes include the Van Someren Godfery Prize, Schubert Society Singer Prize and the President’s Award at the Royal College of Music. Opera roles include Galatea / Acis & Galatea with the Academy of Ancient Music, Susanna / The Marriage of Figaro, Miss Wordsworth, Emmie and Cis / Albert Herring. Rowan was selected for the prestigious OAE Rising Stars of the Enlightenment programme for the 17-8 and 18-19 seasons.
Recording credits include Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Dunedin Consort, Venus, Venus and Adonis (Pepusch) and Monteverdi’s “Other Vespers” with I Fagiolini. Future plans include Palmira in Handel’s Ormisda, Halle Handel Festival, Carissimi’s Jephte with Musica Poetica for the Brighton Early Music Festival. Ciara was selected for the prestigious OAE Rising Stars of the Enlightenment programme for the 17-8 and 18-19 seasons, and will be making a number of performances with the OAE at Kings Place as part of the Bach, The Universe and Everything series.
Catherine Wyn-Rogers - Juno Catherine Wyn-Rogers studied at the Royal College of Music and works with Diane Forlano. She has been a regular guest of the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, English National Opera and Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as well as the BBC Proms and Edinburgh Festival. She has performed at the houses of Chicago, Houston, Milan, Amsterdam, Dresden, Madrid and Paris, at Scottish Opera, Welsh National Opera and Opera North, and for the Salzburg, Glyndebourne and Verbier festivals. She has worked with Barenboim, Slatkin, Haitink, Andrew Davis, Colin Davis, Rozhdestvensky, Mackerras, Norrington and Mehta. Future engagements include Hercules (Dejanira) in Boston, Juno (Semele) with OAE and Gerontius with the Melbourne Symphony.. 021
Jeremy Budd - Apollo
Choir of the Age of Enlightenment
Born in Hertfordshire, Jeremy started out as a Chorister at St Pauls Cathedral in London before going on to study at the Royal Academy of Music. Operatic engagements include a fully-staged St. John Passion in Paris, Orfeo in Lille with Emmanuelle Haim, Pilade in Handel’s Oreste at Linbury Studio Theatre, Purcell's Dido and Aeneas with English Country Garden Opera, Chabrier’s L’Etoile at Opera Comique in Paris.
The Choir of the Age of Enlightenment is a group of professional singers, many of whom are soloists in their own right. Originally the choir had appeared exclusively with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment – at British and European festivals, as well as regularly as part of their concert series at London’s Southbank Centre. However 2016 saw the choir performing their first unaccompanied concerts, without the OAE by their side.
Recent performances include Monteverdi's Vespers with The Sixteen, Evangelist in Symphony Hall with Jeffrey Skidmore and ExCathedra, Britten's Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with Harry Christophers.
The Choir has taken part in many of the OAE’s recordings over the years, including Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Bach Cantatas with Gustav Leonhardt, and Mozart’s Così fan tutte with Sir Simon Rattle. It has also appeared frequently on radio and television with the Orchestra, perhaps most memorably in July 2000 when the Choir and Orchestra performed Bach’s B Minor Mass at the BBC Proms on the 250th anniversary of his death.
Robert Davies - High Priest
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Awarded the Erich Viertheer Memorial Award at Glyndebourne, Robert went on to appear as Mr Gedge in Albert Herring, Marcello in La Bohème, Count in Le Nozze de Figaro and Falke in Die Fledermaus for Glyndebourne on Tour. Other roles include the title roles in Figaro with English Touring Opera and Rigoletto with Bury Court Opera; Zurga in Pearl Fishers and Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte Reisopera, Holland; Demetrius in A Mid-Summer Night's Dream and Papageno in the Magic Flute ETO. Recordings include Monteverdi's Vespers (OAE), Bach's St John Passion; Handel's Esther (Dunedin Consort/Linn); Haydn's Creation (Alte Musik/ORF), Purcell's Dido and Aeneas (Armonico Consort/ Signum).
Three decades ago, a group of inquisitive London musicians took a long hard look at that curious institution we call the Orchestra, and decided to start again from scratch. They began by throwing out the rulebook. Put a single conductor in charge? No way. Specialise in repertoire of a particular era? Too restricting. Perfect a work and then move on? Too lazy. The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment was born. And as this distinctive ensemble playing on period-specific instruments began to get a foothold, it made a promise to itself. It vowed to keep questioning and inventing as long as it lived. Residencies at the Southbank Centre and the Glyndebourne Festival didn’t numb its experimentalist bent. A major record deal didn’t iron out its quirks. Instead, the OAE examined musical notes with ever more freedom and resolve.
That creative thirst remains unquenched. Informal night-time performances are redefining concert formats. Searching approaches to varied repertoire see the OAE working frequently with symphony and opera orchestras. New generations of exploratory musicians are encouraged into its ranks. Great performances now become recordings on the Orchestra’s own CD label. It thrives internationally: New York and Amsterdam court it; Oxford and Bristol cherish it.
The 2017-2018 season sees the launch of our new programme for brilliant young vocal talent. The Rising Stars of the Enlightenment are a cohort of eight young singers, two from each category of voice, who will take the stage with the OAE and feature prominently in our programming for two artistic seasons,including in our Bach, the Universe and Everything series at Kings Place and regular appearances at Southbank Centre and on international tour. Our Rising Stars programme is part of a broader commitment to nurturing the next generation of performing artists. It sits alongside our well-established Experience scheme for instrumentalists where gifted and aspirational players are welcomed into our ranks, many of whom graduate to become regular members of the ensemble. It is a fundamental responsibility for all organisations in the arts to identify and realise opportunity for others and a steadfast investment in training and career development has to be priority in our contribution to society. I am therefore particularly grateful to our Rising Stars Patron, Mark Padmore, who has done so much to assist us.
In its 31st year, the OAE is part of our musical furniture. It has even graced the outstanding conducting talents of Elder, Rattle, Jurowski and Fischer with a joint title. But don’t ever think the ensemble has lost sight of its founding vow. Not all orchestras are the same. And there’s nothing quite like this one. Written by Andrew Mellor.
We could not ask for a more enlightened, dedicated and imaginative leader for this ambitious programme. We are extremely proud of our first season of Rising Stars. They are wonderful, surprising and dedicated musicians who, we have no doubt, will be great contributors to the artistic life of this country. We are proud to present them to you all. Crispin Woodhead Chief Executive If you would like to know more about the scheme and would like to help, please contact: Alex Madgwick, Head of Individual Giving, firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7239 3980 Supporters of the Rising Stars of the Enlightenment Angus Allnatt Charitable Foundation Denys and Vicki Firth Bruce Harris Peter and Veronica Lofthouse Michael and Harriet Maunsell
Support us The past 30 years have seen the OAE grow to become one of the world’s leading period instrument orchestras performing to a global audience of over 5 million people each year. Our education work reaches over 12,000 participants annually across the UK. The Night Shift, our pioneering late night series of informal performances, now tours internationally attracting audiences of over 4,000 each year. We love what we do and we’re proud of our international reputation for performing with warmth, imagination and expertise. We could not have reached these milestones without our loyal band of supporters. Our box office sales, touring and public funding brings in 70% of the income we need and the generosity of our donors is vital to make up the remaining 30%. Without this support, we could not realise our ambitious plans to continue our pioneering work on the concert platform and beyond.
Love the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment? Curious about what goes on behind the scenes? Become part of the OAE family by supporting us today.
Images opposite, left to right: Steven Devine – Co-Principal Keyboard Roger Montgomery – Principal Horn Simone Jandl – Co-Principal Viola 024
Supporting our projects Every year, the OAE curates a season full of inspiring and unique projects. We are always looking for enlightened individuals who are interested in supporting this aspect of our work. Project supporters enjoy the chance to meet players and soloists and be involved in the creative process from the early stages right up to the performance. For more information please contact: Emily Stubbs Development Director email@example.com Telephone 020 7239 9381 OAE Friends As an OAE Friend [from £50], you can be sure to get your hands on your favourite seats with our priority booking period. You’ll also benefit from a unique insight into the inner workings of the Orchestra with regular rehearsal access, opportunities to meet the players and invitations to other events throughout the season. Join the OAE Friends at oae.co.uk/support or contact: Danielle Robson firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone 020 7239 9386
OAE Patrons OAE Patrons [from £1,000] enjoy unrivalled access to our artistic activity, with opportunities for involvement including invitations to Glyndebourne dress rehearsals, dinner with OAE players and guest artists, Patron trips, and the chance to select a concert in our Southbank Centre season, gaining special insight into the artistic process through backstage and rehearsal access. OAE Young Patrons We’re committed to enthusing the next generation of philanthropists through our Young Patrons programme. Aimed at people under 45, this membership scheme includes the opportunity to socialise with our musicians, 2 for 1 tickets to The Night Shift and a chance to meet like-minded people at networking events. Leaving a legacy to the OAE Legacies are crucial to our fundraising and help to sustain and increase the scope of our work. By leaving a legacy to the OAE you will be helping to shape the Orchestra’s future ensuring we can continue to inspire, enthuse and challenge audiences for years to come. To find out more visit oae.co.uk/support or contact: Alex Madgwick Head of Individual Giving email@example.com Telephone 020 7239 9380
Semele William Congreve
ACT ONE Scene One Accompagnato Priest Behold! Auspicious flashes rise, Juno accepts our sacrifice; The grateful odour swift ascends, And see, the golden image bends! Chorus of Priests Lucky omens bless our rites, And sure success shall crown your loves; Peaceful days and fruitful nights Attend the pair that she approves. Recitative, arioso and duet Cadmus Daughter, obey, Hear and obey! With kind consenting Ease a parent's care; Invent no new delay, On this auspicious day. Athamas Oh, hear a faithful lover's prayer! On this auspicious day Invent no new delay. Accompagnato and Air Semele (apart) Ah me! What refuge now is left me? How various, how tormenting Are my miseries! O Jove, assist me! Can Semele forego thy love, And to a mortal's passion yield? Thy vengeance will o'ertake such perfidy. If I deny, my father's wrath I fear.
Semele O Jove! In pity teach me which to choose, Incline me to comply, or help me to refuse! Teach me which to choose, Or help me to refuse! Recitative Athamas See, she blushing turns her eyes; See, with sighs her bosom panting! If from love those sighs arise, Nothing to my bliss is wanting. Air Athamas Hymen, haste, thy torch prepare, Love already his has lighted! Recitative Ino Alas, she yields, And has undone me! I cannot longer hide my passion, It must have vent, Or inward burning Will consume me. O Athamas, I cannot utter it! Athamas On me fair Ino calls With mournful accent, Her colour fading, And her eyes o'erflowing! Ino O Semele! Semele On me she calls, Yet seems to shun me! What would my sister? Speak! Ino Thou hast undone me!
Quartet Cadmus Why dost thou thus untimely grieve, And all our solemn rites profane? Can he, or she thy woes relieve, Or I? Of whom dost thou complain? Ino Of all! But all, I fear, in vain.
Scene Two Recitative Athamas O Athamas, what torture hast thou borne, And oh, what hast thou yet to bear? From love, from hope, from near possession torn, And plung'd at once in deep despair!
Athamas Can I thy woes relieve?
Semele Can I assuage thy pain? Cadmus, Athamas, Semele Of whom dost thou complain?
Ino Turn, hopeless lover, turn thy eyes, And see a maid bemoan, In flowing tears and aching sighs, Thy woes too like her own. Turn, hopeless lover.
Ino Of all! but all, I fear, in vain. Chorus of Priests Avert these omens, all ye pow'rs! Some god averse our holy rites controls; O'erwhelm'd with sudden night the day expires, Ill-boding thunder on the right hand rolls, And Jove himself descends in show'rs To quench our late propitious fires. Accompagnato Again the sickly flame decaying dies: Juno assents, but angry Jove denies. Recitative
Recitative Athamas She weeps! The gentle maid, in tender pity, Weeps to behold my misery! So Semele would melt To see another mourn. Air Athamas Your tuneful voice my tale would tell, In pity of my sad despair; And with sweet melody compel Attention from the flying fair. Your tuneful voice.
Athamas Thy aid, pronubial Juno, Athamas implores! Semele (apart) Thee, Jove, and thee alone, thy Semele adores! Chorus of Priests Cease, cease your vows, 'tis impious to proceed, Begone, and fly this holy place with speed! This dreadful conflict is of dire presage, Begone, and fly from Jove's impending rage!
Ino Too well I see, Thou wilt not understand me. Whence could proceed such tenderness? Whence such compassion? Insensible, ingrate, Ah no, I cannot blame thee! For by effects, unknown before, Who could the hidden cause explore, Or think that love could act so strange a part, To plead for pity in a rival's heart?
Cadmus Wing'd with our fears and pious haste, From Juno's fane we fled. Scarce we the brazen gates had pass'd, When Semele around her head With azure flames was grac'd, Whose lambent glories in her tresses play'd. While this we saw with dread surprise, Swifter than lightning downward tending, An eagle stoop'd, of mighty size, On purple wings descending, Like gold his beak, like stars shone forth his eyes, His silver plumy breast with snow contending. Sudden he snatch'd the trembling maid, And soaring from our sight convey'd, Diffusing ever as he less'ning flew Celestial odour and ambrosial dew.
Athamas Ah me, what have I heard, She does her passion own! Duet Ino You've undone me, Look not on me! Guilt upbraiding, Shame invading, You've undone me, Look not on me! Athamas With my life I would atone Pains you've borne, To me unknown. Cease to shun me. Both Love alone Has both undone! Scene Three Recitative Cadmus Ah, wretched prince, doom'd to disastrous love! Ah me, of parents most forlorn! Prepare, O Athamas, to prove The sharpest pangs that e'er were borne, Prepare with me our common loss to mourn! Athamas Can fate, or Semele, invent Another, yet another punishment?
Scene Four Chorus of Priests and Augurs Hail Cadmus, hail! Jove salutes the Theban king! Cease your mourning, Joys returning, Songs of mirth and triumph sing! Hail Cadmus, hail! Air and Chorus Semele Endless pleasure, endless love, Semele enjoys above! On her bosom Jove reclining, Useless now his thunder lies; To her arms his bolts resigning, And his lightning to her eyes. Priests and Augurs Endless pleasure, endless love Semele enjoys above!
Iris Hear, mighty queen, while I recount What obstacles you must surmount.
Scene One Recitative
Accompagnato Juno Iris, impatient of thy stay, From Samos have I wing'd my way To meet thy slow return. Iris With all his speed not yet the sun Through half his race has run, Since I, to execute thy dread command, Have thrice encompass'd sea and land. Juno Say, where is Semele's abode? Iris Look, where Cithaeron proudly stands, BĹ›otia parting from Cecropian lands. High on the summit of that hill, Beyond the reach of mortal eyes, By Jove's command and Vulcan's skill, Behold a new-erected palace rise! Air
Iris With adamant the gates are barr'd, Whose entrance two fierce dragons guard. At each approach they lash their forky stings And clap their brazen wings; And as their scaly horrors rise, They all at once disclose A thousand fiery eyes Which never know repose. Air Juno Hence, Iris, hence away, Far from the realms of day! O'er Scythian hills to the Maeotian lake A speedy flight we'll take! There Somnus I'll compel His downy bed to leave, and silent cell; With noise and light I will his peace molest, Nor shall he sink again to pleasing rest, Till to my vow'd revenge he grants supplies, And seals with sleep the wakeful dragons' eyes.
Iris There, from mortal cares retiring, She resides in sweet retreat.
Juno No more, I'll hear no more!
Semele O sleep, why dost thou leave me, Why thy visionary joys remove? O sleep, again deceive me, To my arms restore my wand'ring love!
Accompagnato Juno Awake, Saturnia, from thy lethargy! Seize, destroy the cursed Semele! Scale proud Cithaeron's top, Snatch her, tear her in thy fury, And down to the flood of Acheron Let her fall, let her fall, fall, fall, Rolling down the depths of night, Never more to behold the light. If I th'imperial scepter sway, I swear By hell! (Tremble, thou universe, this oath to hear!) Not one of curst Agenor's race to spare.
Scene Three Recitative Semele Let me not another moment Bear the pangs of absence; Since you have form'd my soul for loving, No more afflict me With doubts and fears and cruel jealousy!
Air Jupiter Lay your doubts and fears aside, And for joys alone provide. Though this human form I wear, Think not I man's falsehood bear. Lay your doubts. . . Recitative Jupiter You are mortal and require Time to rest and to repose. I was not absent, While Love was with thee I was present: Love and I are one. Air Semele With fond desiring, With bliss expiring, Panting, Fainting, If this be Love, not you alone, But Love and I are one. Causeless doubting, Or despairing, Rashly trusting, Idly fearing, If this be Love, not you alone, But Love and I are one. Chorus of Loves and Zephyrs How engaging, how endearing, Is a lover's pain and care! Recitative Semele Ah me! Jupiter Why sighs my Semele? What gentle sorrow Swells thy soft bosom? Why tremble those fair eyes With interrupted light, Where hov'ring for a vent, Amidst their humid fires, Some new-form'd wish appears? Speak, and obtain!
Semele At my own happiness I sigh and tremble, For I am mortal, Still a woman; And ever when you leave me, Though compass'd round with deities Of Loves and Graces, A fear invades me, And conscious of a nature Far inferior, I seek for solitude And shun society. Jupiter (apart) Too well I read her meaning, But must not understand her: Aiming at immortality With dangerous ambition. Air Jupiter I must with speed amuse her Lest she too much explain. It gives the lover double pain Who hears his nymph complain, And hearing, must refuse her. I must. Chorus of Loves and Zephyrs Now Love that everlasting boy invites To revel while you may in soft delights. INTERVAL Recitative Jupiter By my command Now at this instant Two winged Zephyrs From her downy bed Thy much lov'd Ino bear, And both together Waft her hither, Through the balmy air. Semele Shall I my sister see, The dear companion Of my tender years?
Jupiter See, she appears, But sees not me; For I am visible Alone to thee. While I retire, rise and meet her, And with welcomes greet her. Now all this scene shall to Arcadia turn, The seat of happy nymphs and swains; There without the rage of jealousy they burn, And taste the sweets of love without its pains. Air Jupiter Where'er you walk, cool gales shall fan the glade; Trees, where you sit, shall crowd into a shade. Where'er you tread, the blushing flow'rs shall rise, And all things flourish where'er you turn your eyes.
ACT THREE Scene One Sinfonia Accompagnato Juno Somnus, awake, Raise thy reclining head! Iris Thyself forsake, And lift up thy heavy lids of lead! Air
Somnus (waking) Leave me, loathsome light, Receive me, silent night! Lethe, why does thy ling'ring current cease? Oh, murmur, murmur me again to peace!
Semele Dear sister, how was your passage hither?
Ino O'er many states and peopled towns we pass'd, O'er hills and valleys, and o'er deserts waste; O'er barren moors, and o'er unwholesome fens, And woods where beasts inhabit dreadful dens. Through all which pathless way our speed was such, We stopp'd not once the face of earth to touch. Meantime they told me, while through air we fled, That Jove did thus ordain. Duet Semele and Ino Prepare then, ye immortal choir, Each sacred minstrel tune his lyre, And all in chorus join! Chorus of Nymphs and Swains Bless the glad earth with heav'nly lays, And to that pitch th'eternal accents raise, That all appear divine!
Iris Dull God, canst thou attend the water's fall, And not hear Saturnia call? Juno Peace, Iris, peace! I know how to charm him: Pasithea's name alone can warm him. (To Somnus) Somnus, arise! Disclose thy tender eyes; For Pasithea's sight Endure the light. Somnus, arise! Air Somnus More sweet is that name Than a soft purling stream.
Or is it Semele!
Juno My will obey, She shall be thine. Thou, with thy softer pow'rs, First Jove shalt captivate. To Morpheus then give order, Thy various minister, That with a dream in shape of Semele, But far more beautiful And more alluring, He may invade the sleeping deity; And more to agitate his kindling fire Still let the phantom seem to fly before him, That he may wake impetuous, furious in desire, Unable to refuse whatever boon Her coyness shall require.
Semele Dear sister, speak, Whence this astonishment?
Somnus I tremble to comply. Juno To me thy leaden rod resign, To charm the sentinels On mount Cithaeron. Then cast a sleep on mortal Ino, That I may seem her form to wear, When I to Semele appear. Duet Juno Obey my will, thy rod resign, And Pasithea shall be thine. Somnus All I must grant, for all is due To Pasithea, love and you. Scene Two
Juno Your charms improving To divine perfection, Show you were late admitted Amongst celestial beauties. Has Jove consented, And are you made immortal? Semele Ah no! I still am mortal; Nor am I sensible Of any change or new perfection. Juno (giving her the glass) Behold in this mirror Whence comes my surprise! Such lustre and terror Unite in your eyes, That mine cannot fix on a radiance so bright, 'Tis unsafe for the sense and too slipp'ry for sight. Semele Oh, ecstasy of happiness! Celestial graces I discover in each feature! Air Semele Myself I shall adore, If I persist in gazing. No object sure before Was ever half so pleasing. Myself. . .
Semele My wracking thoughts by no kind slumbers freed, But painful nights to joyful days succeed.
Juno Be wise, as you are beautiful, Nor lose this opportunity. When Jove appears, All ardent with desire, Refuse his proffer'd flame Till you obtain a boon without a name. Semele Can that avail me? But how shall I attain To immortality?
Scene Three Recitative Juno (apart) Thus shap'd like Ino, With ease I shall deceive her, And in this mirror she shall see Herself as much transform'd as me. (To Semele) Do I some goddess see, 032
Semele Can that avail me? But how shall I attain To immortality? Accompagnato Juno Conjure him by his oath Not to approach your bed In likeness of a mortal, But like himself, the mighty thunderer, In pomp of majesty And heav'nly attire, As when he proud Saturnia charms, And with ineffable delights Fills her encircling arms, And pays the nuptial rites. You shall partake then of immortality, And thenceforth leave this mortal state To reign above, Ador'd by Jove, In spite of jealous Juno's hate. Recitative Juno Rich odours fill the fragrant air, And Jove's approach declare. I must retire. Semele Adieu, your counsel I'll pursue. Juno (apart) And sure destruction will ensue, Vain wretched fool, adieu! Scene Four Air Jupiter Come to my arms, my lovely fair, Soothe my uneasy care. In my dream late I woo'd thee, And in vain I pursued thee, For you fled from my prayer, And bid me despair. Come to my arms, my lovely fair.
Recitative Jupiter O Semele! Why art thou thus insensible? Air Semele I ever am granting, You always complain. I always am wanting, Yet never obtain. I ever am granting, You always complain. Recitative Jupiter Speak, speak your desire, Say what you require, I'll grant it. Semele Swear by the Stygian lake! Accompagnato Jupiter By that tremendous flood, I swear. Ye Stygian waters, hear, And thou, Olympus, shake, In witness to the oath I take! Recitative Semele You'll grant what I require? Jupiter I'll grant what you require. Accompagnato Semele Then cast off this human shape which you wear, And Jove since you are, like Jove too appear! Air Jupiter Ah, take heed what you press, For, beyond all redress, Should I grant your request, I shall harm you.
Air Semele No, no, I'll take no less, Than all in full excess! Your oath it may alarm you. Yet haste and prepare, For I'll know what you are, With all your powers arm you. No, no. . . Scene Five Accompagnato Jupiter Ah, whither is she gone! unhappy fair? Why did she wish, why did I rashly swear? 'Tis past, 'tis past recall, She must a victim fall. Anon when I appear The mighty thunderer, Arm'd with inevitable fire, She needs must instantly expire. 'Tis past, 'tis past recall, She must a victim fall. My softest lightning yet I'll try, And mildest melting bolt apply; In vain, for she was fram'd to prove None but the lambent flames of love. 'Tis past, 'tis past recall, She must a victim fall. Scene Six Air Juno Above measure Is the pleasure, Which my revenge supplies. Love's a bubble, Gain'd with trouble, And in possessing dies. With what joy shall I mount to my heav'n again, At once from my rival and jealousy freed! The sweets of revenge make it worth while to reign, And heav'n will hereafter be heav'n indeed. Above measure... Scene Seven Accompagnato Semele Ah me! Too late I now repent My pride and impious vanity. He comes! Far off his lightnings scorch me, Ah, I feel my life consuming: 034
I burn, I burn, I faint, for pity I implore, Oh help, oh help, I can no more! Scene Eight Recitative Ino Of my ill-boding dream Behold the dire event! Chorus of Priests Oh, terror and astonishment! Nature to each allots his proper sphere, But that forsaken we like meteors err: Toss'd through the void, by some rude shock we're broke, And all our boasted fire is lost in smoke. Scene the Last Accompagnato Apollo Apollo comes, to relieve your care, And future happiness declare. From Semele's ashes a phĹ›nix shall rise, The joy of this earth, and delight of the skies: A God he shall prove More mighty than Love, And sighing and sorrow for ever prevent. Recitative Chorus of Priests Be wise, as you are beautiful, Nor lose this opportunity. When Jove appears, All ardent with desire, Refuse his proffer'd flame Till you obtain a boon without a name. Semele Can that avail me? But how shall I attain To immortality?
Simone Jandl â€“ Co-Principal Viola
Chief Executive Crispin Woodhead
Finance Officer Fabio Lodato
Director of Finance and Operations Ivan Rockey
Digital Content Officer Zen Grisdale
Development Director Emily Stubbs Director of Marketing and Audience Development John Holmes Director of Press Katy Bell Projects Manager Jo Perry Orchestra Manager Philippa Brownsword Choir Manager David Clegg Projects Officer Hannah Bache Librarian Colin Kitching Education Director Cherry Forbes Education Officer Andrew Thomson
Marketing and Press Officer Thomas Short Head of Individual Giving Alex Madgwick Development and Events Administrator Danielle Robson Development Manager Catherine Kinsler Trusts and Foundation Manager Andrew Mackenzie Development Trainee Ben Carr
Board of Directors Sir Martin Smith [Chairman] Luise Buchberger Steven Devine Denys Firth Nigel Jones Max Mandel David Marks Rebecca Miller Roger Montgomery Olivia Roberts Susannah Simons Katharina Spreckelsen Mark Williams Crispin Woodhead OAE Trust Sir Martin Smith [Chair] Edward Bonham Carter Paul Forman Julian Mash Imogen Overli Rupert Sebag-Montefiore Diane Segalen Leaders Kati Debretzeni Margaret Faultless Matthew Truscott Players’ Artistic Committee Luise Buchberger Steven Devine Max Mandel Roger Montgomery (Chair) Katharina Spreckelsen
The OAE is a registered charity number 295329 and a registered company number 2040312 Registered office: Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9AG Telephone 020 7239 9370 firstname.lastname@example.org Design and art direction –LucienneRoberts+ Photography – Angela Moore 036
The World Cup of Opera We've been invited to be the house band for the first ever Glyndebourne Opera Cup, a new competition designed to discover the best young singers from around the world. With preliminary rounds in London, Philadelphia and Berlin, it's truly an international competition. The semi-finals [Thursday 22 March 2018] and final [Saturday 24 March 2018] at Glyndebourne will be ticketed and open to the public. There will also be an accompanying TV series on Sky Arts. glyndebourne.com
The Marriage of Figaro in cinemas Speaking of Glyndebourne, our 2016 production of Le Nozze di Figaro [The Marriage of Figaro] [pictured above] gets an outing in cinemas this Autumn as part of Glyndebourne's annual tour. It's showing in 11 locations between Sunday 15 October and Friday 1 December. Visit glyndebourne.com and go to 'Cinema & Online' to see if there's a screening near you.
Australia Tour with Rachel Podger Next month we tour Australia with one of our longstanding-collaborators, violinist Rachel Podger. She'll be playing two of Mozart's great Violin concertos, in a programme which also features rarely-performed Symphonies from Haydn and JC Bach. https://musicaviva.com.au/oae-rachel-podger/
The OAE continues to grow and thrive through the generosity of our supporters. We are very grateful to our sponsors and Patrons and hope you will consider joining them. We offer a close involvementin the life of the Orchestra with many opportunities to meet players, attend rehearsals and even accompany us on tour.
OAE Thirty Circle The OAE is particularly grateful to the following members of the Thirty Circle who have so generously contributed to the re-financing of the Orchestra through the OAE Trust. Thirty Circle Patrons Bob and Laura Cory Sir Martin Smith and Lady Smith OBE Thirty Circle Members Victoria and Edward Bonham Carter Nigel Jones and Françoise Valat-Jones Selina and David Marks Julian and Camilla Mash Mark and Rosamund Williams Our Supporters Ann and Peter Law OAE Experience scheme Ann and Peter Law Principal Sponsor
Corporate Partners Apax Partners E.S.J.G. Limited Lubbock Fine Chartered Accountants Mark Allen Group Parabola Land Stephen Levinson at Keystone Law Swan Turton Mark and Rosamund Williams
Season Patrons Julian and Annette Armstrong Bob and Laura Cory Adrian Frost Bruce Harris John Armitage Charitable Trust Nigel Jones and Françoise Valat-Jones Selina and David Marks Sir Martin Smith and Lady Smith OBE Philip and Rosalyn Wilkinson Project Patrons JMS Advisory Limited Julian and Camilla Mash Haakon and Imogen Overli Aria Patrons Denys and Vicki Firth Stanley Lowy Gary and Nina Moss Rupert Sebag-Montefiore Eric Tomsett Chair Patrons Felix Appelbe and Lisa Bolgar Smith – Co-principal Cello Mrs Nicola Armitage – Education Director Hugh and Michelle Arthur – Viola Victoria and Edward Bonham Carter – Principal Trumpet Anthony and Celia Edwards – Principal Oboe Sir Vernon and Lady Ellis – Co-Principal Viola James Flynn QC – Co-Principal Lute/Theorbo Paul Forman – Co-Principal Cello, Co-Principal Bassoon and Co-Principal Horn Su Li and Stephen Gibbons – Violin The Mark Williams Foundation – Co-Principal Bassoon Jenny and Tim Morrison – Second Violin
Andrew Nurnberg – Co-Principal Oboe Jonathan Parker Charitable Trust – Co-Principal Cello Professor Richard Portes CBE FBA – Co-Principal Bassoon Olivia Roberts – Violin John and Rosemary Shannon – Principal Horn Roger and Pam Stubbs – Sub-Principal Clarinet Crispin Woodhead and Christine Rice – Principal Timpani Education Patrons John and Sue Edwards – Principal Education Patrons Mrs Nicola Armitage Patricia and Stephen Crew The Nigel Gee Foundation Venetia Hoare Rory and Louise Landman Professor Richard Portes CBE FBA
We are also very grateful to our anonymous supporters and OAE Friends for their ongoing generosity and enthusiasm.
Associate Patrons Noël and Caroline Annesley David and Marilyn Clark Christopher and Lesley Cooke David Emmerson Ian S Ferguson and Dr Susan Tranter Jonathan and Tessa Gaisman Noel De Keyzer Marc-Olivier and Agnes Laurent Madame M Lege-Germain Sir Timothy and Lady Lloyd Michael and Harriet Maunsell David Mildon in memory of Lesley Mildon Andrew and Cindy Peck Michael and Giustina Ryan Ivor Samuels and Gerry Wakelin Emily Stubbs and Stephen McCrum Shelley von Strunckel Rev’d John Wates OBE and Carol Wates Mr J Westwood Young Ambassador Patrons Pamela Dow William Norris Young Patrons Josh Bell and Adam Pile Marianne and William Cartwright-Hignett Sam Hucklebridge Joseph Cooke and Rowan Roberts Natalie Watson
For more information on supporting the OAE please contact: Emily Stubbs Development Director email@example.com Telephone 020 7239 9381
Gold Friends Mr and Mrs C Cochin de Billy Mrs A Boettcher Michael Brecknell Geoffrey Collens Hugh Courts Roger Mears and Joanie Speers Silver Friends Dennis Baldry Haylee and Michael Bowsher Tony Burt Christopher Campbell Michael A Conlon Mr and Mrs Michael Cooper Simon Edelsten Norman and Sarah Fiore Malcolm Herring Patricia Herrmann Peter and Sally Hilliar Rupert and Alice King Stephen and Roberta Rosefield David and Ruth Samuels Susannah Simons Her Honour Suzanne Stewart Bronze Friends Tony Baines Keith Barton Dan Burt Anthony and Jo Diamond Mrs SM Edge Mrs Mary Fysh Ray and Liz Harsant Auriel Hill Nigel Mackintosh Angus Macpherson Julian Markson Anthony and Carol Rentoul Paul Rivlin Alan Sainer Gillian Threlfall Mr and Mrs Tony Timms Mrs Joy Whitby David Wilson
Trusts and foundations Apax Foundation Arts Council England Catalyst Fund Arts Council England Small Capital Grants Arts Council England Strategic Touring Fund Boltini Trust Boshier-Hinton Foundation Brian Mitchell Charitable Settlement The Charles Peel Charitable Trust Chapman Charitable Trust Cockayne – London Community Foundation John S Cohen Foundation Derek Hill Foundation D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust Dunard Fund Ernest Cook Trust Fenton Arts Trust Garfield Weston Foundation The Golden Bottle Trust Goldsmiths’ Company Charity Idlewild Trust Jack Lane Charitable Trust JMCMRJ Sorrell Foundation J Paul Getty Jnr General Charitable Trust John Lyon’s Charity The Mark Williams Foundation Michael Marks Charitable Trust National Foundation for Youth Music Nicholas Berwin Charitable Trust Orchestras Live Palazzetto Bru-Zane The Patrick Rowland Foundation PF Charitable Trust PRS Foundation Pye Charitable Settlement RK Charitable Trust RVW Trust Schroder Charity Trust The Shears Foundation Valentine Charitable Trust Violet Mauray Charitable Trust
A programme to involve, empower and inspire Over the past twenty years our OAE Education family has grown to include thousands of people nationwide through creative musical projects. In 2016â€“17 we worked with over 20,500 people, delivered more than 250 workshops and performed over 80 concerts in 22 cities, towns and villages across England. Our participants come from a wide range of backgrounds and we pride ourselves in working flexibly, adapting to the needs of local people and the places where they live. The extensive partnerships we have built up over many years helps us to engage fully with all the communities we work with to ensure maximum and lasting impact.
We take inspiration from the OAEâ€™s repertoire, instruments and players, which makes for a vibrant, challenging and engaging programme where everyone is involved; players, animateurs, composers, participants, teachers, partners and stakeholders all have a valued voice in the work we do.
Vision 4 Music In 2017–18 we will be creating a programme of events inspired by the question we asked in our Musical Landscapes flagship project: ‘What world do we want to create for tomorrow?’ Vision 4 Music will encompass all our strands in our residency work. Our TOTS programme will be based on ‘Stories of old’. Our OPERA and SCHOOLS work will focus on a newly written opera based on Purcell’s Fairy Queen by Hazel Gould and James Redwood. Our Nurturing talent work will be extended to include general teacher training, endangered instrument work and a new summer school for post A Level students. Finally, our Special Needs programme will be expanded to seven groups across the country with our new Our Band project.
Support our education programme The work we do could not happen without the support of our generous donors. If you would like to support our Education programme please contact: Alex Madgwick Head of Individual Giving firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone 020 7239 9380 041
Bach, the Universe and Everything Sun 22 Oct ORIGIN OF GALAXIES Cantata: Ich glaube, lieber Herr (‘I believe, dear Lord, help my unbelief’), BWV 109 Robert Howarth director Helen Charlston alto James Way tenor with Professor Carlos Frenk, University of Durham
Marvel at our extraordinary universe and the music of Bach with our new Sunday morning series for inquiring and curious minds. Bach wrote more than 200 cantatas, a sublime collection exploring everything from faith and hope to time and eternity. Enjoy a different cantata every month, put into context by an inspiring speaker exploring the physics and natural philosophy of Bach’s subject matter. With a little bit of communal singing and conversation afterwards, our very own Sunday service is a place to bond with music lovers and revel in the wonders of science. Feel invigorated, energised and inspired for the week ahead – there is no better way to start a Sunday morning.
HOW TO BOOK Online: kingsplace.co.uk/btuae Telephone: 020 7520 1490 In person: Kings Place, 90 York Way, N1 9AG Prices advertised are online rates. Please add £2 per ticket for any other booking methods.
• THE MUSIC It’s a rollercoaster of emotions as Bach explores birth and hope, with spectacular music for solo singers. • THE SCIENCE Professor Carlos Frenk, winner of the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 2014, joins us to discuss cosmology’s great births – the origin of galaxies.
'Beethoven tells you what it’s like to be Beethoven and Mozart tells you what it’s like to be human. Bach tells you what it’s like to be the universe.' Douglas Adams
Sun 17 Dec ANTIMATTER MATTERS Cantata: Darzu ist erschienen (‘For this the Son of God appeared’), BWV 40 Steven Devine director Helen Charlston alto James Way tenor Edward Grint bass with Professor Tara Shears, University of Liverpool
Sun 26 Nov WHAT IS LIGHT? Cantata: Wachet! Betet! (‘Watch! Pray!’), BWV 70 Steven Devine director Rowan Pierce soprano Ciara Hendrick alto Tom Robson tenor James Newby baritone with Professor Sir John Pendry, The Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London
• THE MUSIC It’s Christmas time, so we perform a cantata Bach wrote for the festive period, 1723. It’s not all comfort and joy, though – this one has a serious message about Jesus conquering the devil. • THE SCIENCE Bach’s music was all about symmetries. Professor Tara Shears also works in symmetries. A world expert in antimatter, she’ll explain how these elusive particles involve symmetries that are almost, but not quite perfect.
• THE MUSIC It’s the end of the world as we know it, as Bach explores the Last Judgement with powerful trumpets creating a dark sense of foreboding. • THE SCIENCE Our guest, on the other hand, brings light to proceedings. Sir John Pendry is a worldleading expert in his field who will explore the elusive question, ‘what is light?’
The Night Shift Tuesday 24 October 2017 CLF Art Cafe 7.30pm
Handel’s Messiah Saturday 23 December 2017 St John’s Smith Square 7.30pm
We return to Peckham for a Night Shift first - a raucous evening of clarinet and Klezmer music.
We join forces with Polyphony for Handel’s visionary, ecstatic Messiah.
Mozart: Master of Deception with Rachel Podger Monday 27 November 2017 St John’s Smith Square 7pm
In the beginning...The Creation Sat 6 Jan 2018 King's Place 7.30pm
Mozart was the ultimate musical genius – and the ultimate game player. He tore up the rulebook, and if you hear his music twice, you never have quite the same experience.
Make Haydn’s Creation your first concert of 2018 with this intimate New Year performance at Kings Place. Marin Alsop and Nicola Benedetti Sunday 4 February 2018 Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre 7pm
The Night Shift Tuesday 28 November 2017 Camden Assembly 7.30pm The Night Shift invades the spiritual home of Britpop. Rachel Podger at West London Synagogue Sunday 10 December West London Synagogue 6.30pm Rachel Podger and singers from our Rising Stars programme join forces to perform Mozart and Gluck. Christmas Oratorio Friday 22 December 2017 St John’s Smith Square 7.30pm Parts 1, 2, 3 and 6 of Bach's majestic festive masterpiece. In collaboration with The Choir of Trinity College Cambridge.
Nicola Benedetti makes her first appearance with us alongside conductor Marin Alsop for a night of Beethoven performed with pure unvarnished musicality. The Corridors of Power Tuesday 27 February 2018 Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre 7pm What wins - love or duty? A packed programme explores this question through selections from Mozart and Hadyn's operas. Bach's St Matthew Passion Monday 26 March 2018 Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre 7pm Celebrate Easter with Bach's St Matthew Passion, featuring an all-star line-up of singers, led by Mark Padmore.
Visit oae.co.uk for more details on all upcoming concerts. 044
Theatre Angels Love Theatre? Want to be more involved? A Theatre Angel can enjoy the benefits such as….
What is a theatre Angel?
The lifeblood of Commercial Theatre are the investors. The ordinary people who invest the money through Producers to make the Shows Happen.
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Complimentary tickets to opening night performances. Invitations to meet the cast and company at opening night parties. Access to VIP house seats across the West End. The opportunity to organise special theatre evenings for friends, colleagues, or clients. Industry insider status, recommendations, and information. Advance notice of further investment opportunities.
By doing so they join a select club of individuals who are an integral part of the producing process, and enjoy the insider benefits of glamorous press night parties, priority booking and of course if the production is successful, the financial rewards.
“Go on, be an angel” www.theatreangels.com
Peter Whelan [above] – Co-Principal Bassoon Cecilia Bruggemeyer [front cover] – Principal Double Bass Principal sponsor oae.co.uk orchestraoftheageofenlightenment theoae oae_photos
The programme for our performance of Handel's Semele at the Royal Festival Hall, 18th October 2017.