123. Giulio Cesare in Egitto (Handel)

Dramma per musico in 3 actsComposer: George Frideric HandelLibretto: Niccolò Francesco Haym after Giacomo Francesco BussaniFirst performed: King's Theater, Haymarket, London, 20 February 1724 The ides of March may have passed, but we still have time to stab Caesar. Here it is: the most famous and beloved opera seria. Keates calls it a "tragicomic masterpiece"; … Continue reading 123. Giulio Cesare in Egitto (Handel)

112. Dido and Aeneas (Purcell)

DIDO AND AENEAS Composer: Henry Purcell Libretto: Nahum Tate, after Virgil's Aeneid First performed: 1680s, after Blow's Venus and Adonis Dido and Aeneas is probably the best opera since Monteverdi. Purcell - "the English Orpheus" - and Lully were contemporaries. You can hear the Franco-Italian's influence on the overture (slow-fast-slow in the French style), in … Continue reading 112. Dido and Aeneas (Purcell)

111. Venus and Adonis (Blow)

VENUS AND ADONIS First performed: circa 1683 Composer: John Blow Libretto: Unknown, possibly Anne Kingsmill Opera in England began in the court of Charles II, the merry monarch who reopened theatres and restored enjoyment after the gloomy, god-fearing government of Oliver Cromwell. (Lord protect us from Protectors!) There had been masques, of course, since the … Continue reading 111. Venus and Adonis (Blow)

86. Raymond and Agnes (Edward Loder)

RAYMOND AND AGNES Grand opera in three acts Composer: Edward Loder Libretto: Edward Fitzball First performed: Theatre Royal, Manchester, 14 August 1855 Dossier So there is opera in England between Handel and G&S! Retrospect Opera, devoted to British opera, released last month the premiere recording of Loder's Raymond and Agnes (1855), one of the most important mid-19th century … Continue reading 86. Raymond and Agnes (Edward Loder)

75. Sāvitri (Gustav Holst)

Chamber opera in 1 act Composer & librettist: Gustav Holst First performed: Wellington Hall, London, 5 December 1916 (amateur performance) First professional performance: Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, London, 23 June 1921, conducted by Arthur Bliss CHARACTERS SĀVITRI (soprano): Dorothy Silk SATYAVĀN, her husband (tenor): Steuart Wilson DEATH (bass): Clive Carey SETTING Ancient India STORY Sāvitri is the story of the loyal … Continue reading 75. Sāvitri (Gustav Holst)

19. At the Boar’s Head & The Wandering Scholar (Gustav Holst)

AT THE BOAR’S HEAD A musical interlude in one act The libretto taken from Shakespeare’s King Henry IV The music, founded on old English melodies, by Gustav Holst (Op. 42) First performed: Palace Theatre, Manchester, 3 April 1925 STORY Sir John FALSTAFF (bass) PRINCE HAL (tenor) POINS (bass) BARDOLPH (baritone) PETO (tenor) GADSHILL (baritone) PISTOL (baritone) PISTOL'S TWO COMPANIONS (baritones) HOSTESS (DAME QUICKLY) (soprano) … Continue reading 19. At the Boar’s Head & The Wandering Scholar (Gustav Holst)