Christophe Rousset was replacing the initially announced Ivor Bolton as conductor of this concert performance of Handel Semele. What a good deal! Rousset had already done this oratorio/opera in Paris and he has nicely evolved from a harpsichordist to I-conduct-my-own-period-instruments-ensemble to I-conduct-at-any-opera-house. So he brought all of this to this night: very good continuo sense, experience with HIP orchestras and full staged opera productions. Seen Rousset conducting with the hands, with energetic and fast movements is a delightful experience.
Second part of Handel Giulio Cesare at Hackney Empire. Wait? Second part? Yes, because English Touring Opera took the risky decision of splitting the into two separated parts. And, from what I saw (2nd part), it worked pretty well. A quick surtitles recap during the sinfonia puts us in context to start right away in the middle of original Act II. Surtitles (displayed on two side LCD panels) were not a direct translation of the sung text: sometimes they simplified the dialogs to make them more understandable.
The Foundling Museum explores the history of the Foundling Hospital, the UK’s first children’s charity and first public art gallery. They also hold a collection of important Handel related materials. Finally they run a series of concerts, either related with children, young artists or Handel. Those concerts are free but require to pay the entrance to the museum. However last 7th September was totally free because of the Heritage day. So it was a perfect occasion for visiting the museum and attending to a Handel recital.
First, I need to start rating concerts. Everyone is about seeing the rating and don’t reading much more about it. Instead of using the classic 5 star rating system I am gonna use a 10 skateboard system because, you know, skateboards rock. I just need to figure out how to put that on this blog thing. In the mean time let’s say it: this concert was a 7 out of 10 skateboards.
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