The English Concert produced a supple, golden sound that managed to combine constant drama with delicacy. Stylish playing and real impetus prevented the work from being ponderous and was the finishing touch to a production of Baroque excellence.


Early Music
The English Concert
Harry Bicket, artistic director

Tamerlano, HWV 18
Michael Spyres, tenor (Bajazet)
Bejun Mehta, countertenor (Tamerlano)
Avery Amereau, alto (Irene)
Jakub Józef Orliński, countertenor (Andronico)
Sophie Bevan, soprano (Asteria)
Ashley Riches, bass (Leone)

Greed, jealousy, betrayal, revenge—Handel's psychological thriller Tamerlano has it all. Performed in concert by Britain's renowned Handel specialists The English Concert, this sinister opera seria was among the composer's big London hits of the 1720s, with a story loosely based on the historic conflict between a Turkish sultan and the Tartar conqueror Timur (or Tamerlano), who ruled much of Asia in the 14th century. The soloists here include two revered countertenors—Bejun Mehta as Tamerlano, a role that has defined his career, and rising star Jakub Józef Orliński, who has recently appeared to rave reviews in both Handel's Rinaldo and Rodelinda. "Bicket...drew a lithe, detailed and richly expressive account of this great score from the first-rate players. The ovations were enormous. The audience seemed not just excited but also grateful" (The New York Times).

Sung in Italian with English supertitles.

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Program Notes

Program notes will be available approximately one week before the performance.