Mackerras Boosts Royal Academy's HandelDate: 19 October 2009
Students at the Royal Academy of Music will benefit from having the great conductor Sir Charles Mackerras in the pit next month. Following the opening of English National Opera’s The Turn of the Screw at the Coliseum later this week, the first time he’s conducted Britten’s score in more than half a century, Sir Charles will join the young singers at the Academy for three performances of Handel’s Semele on 16, 18 and 23 November.
Semele (1744) is one of Handel’s best-loved works, containing the well-known arias "Wher'er you walk", "Endless pleasure, endless love" and "O Sleep, why dost thou leave me". A double cast will perform the colourful roles in this tongue-in-cheek take (with libretto by no less than William Congreve) on the Greek myth of the ambitious maiden who aspires to union with the god Jupiter, only to come to a fiery end. There will be one further performance on 20 November, conducted by Laurence Cummings.
The RAM’s Artistic Director of Opera, Jane Glover (herself a conductor of considerable reputation in this repertoire) said “We are completely thrilled that Sir Charles Mackerras, the most distinguished Handelian of our time, is returning to the Academy for this production of Semele. Quite apart from his matchless distinction, Sir Charles’ indefatigable sense of fun is guaranteed to pervade this gem of 18th Century naughtiness – a lurid tale of sex, violence and politics, told in the most alluring and invigorating music.”
Directed by Anna Sweeny, it takes place in the Academy’s Sir Jack Lyons Theatre, Marylebone Road and tickets (£25/£20 concessions) can be booked on 020 7873 7300. Further details at www.ram.ac.uk
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