Handel Aci, Galatea e Polifemo
Zoë Brookshaw soprano
Bethany Horak-Hallett mezzo-soprano
Trevor Bowes bass
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
The OAE’s ‘The Wilderness Pleases’ series is inspired by one of the many influential pieces of work to come out of the Enlightenment era, Shaftesbury’s The Moralists.
Delve into the darker side of the wilderness with ‘Demons in the Bath: Aci, Galatea e Polifemo’ featuring bass Trevor Bowes and OAE Rising Stars alumni Zoë Brookshaw and Bethany Horak-Hallett.
In the book, the main character Theocles describes the terror of encountering a group of crocodiles in an Egyptian desert. After escaping the monsters, he is overcome with a desire to admire them as wondrous creatures of the natural world. He says,
‘Let us fly to the vast deserts of these parts […] ghastly and hideous as they appear they want not their peculiar beauties. Wilderness pleases.’
Handel’s tragic tale is about two lovers who are being kept apart as servants by a villainous cyclops creature, with its thrilling and varied scoring, the music excites a sense of both determination and helplessness in confronting the natural world. As Handel’s music so often does, this concert challenges our understanding of order and fairness and delivers us to a supernatural world of poetic possibilities.
Please note start time.
6pm-6.30pm: Pre-concert talk (in the auditorium)
Duration: approx. 1 hour 50 minutes (incl. 20-minute interval)