A glamorous program for the special Brisbane Baroque will transport music lovers straight to a baroque heaven. From April 8 to 16, Brisbane will revel in Leo Schofield’s choice of operas and concerts featuring music composed after the Renaissance in the period 1600 to 1750. Once unfamiliar to audiences, this period is now recognised as one of the glories of Western culture.
Handel’s opera Agrippina will be seen in a production from the Gottingen Handel Festival, the source of last year’s greatly admired Faramondo. Handel was just 24 when he composed Agrippina for Venice in 1709 where it was a huge success thanks to its marvellous music and wickedly satirical comedy libretto of sex, politics and ambition.
Vivaldi will be represented in three concerts, one called Vivica + Vivaldi. Vivica Genaux is an American mezzo, born in Alaska, but now achieving European recognition for her beautiful voice and astonishing technique; she will appear with the impressive young Camerata of St John’s under Brendan Joyce.
King Arthur by Purcell and Dryden, staged by Rodney Fisher with the Orchestra of the Antipodes under Brett Weymark, will be in the City Hall. A brilliant harpsichordist, Mahan Esfahani, will make his Australian debut in the Concert Hall; born in Tehran in 1984, he is already acclaimed in the US and UK. JS Bach will be honoured in a gala: Music in the Castle of Heaven. These are just some of the highlights of this first class Brisbane Baroque.
Subscribe to The Spectator Australia today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Subscribe – Try a month free