By Francisco Salazar
The English Concert has announced its 2022-23 season.
In a statement Alfonso Leal de Ojo, chief executive of The English Concert, said, “The English Concert is deeply invested in bringing Handel’s music to audiences across the UK and the rest of the world. Following our performance of Solomon at the BBC Proms, we are delighted to be bringing this lavish oratorio to Europe and North America. This year will also see our debut at Paris Opera with the mesmerizing Ariodante, under the baton of Harry Bicket and the artistic direction of Robert Carsen.”
The English Consort is set to perform Handel’s “Solomon,” an oratorio widely considered to be Handel’s most magnificent and lavish creation. The showcase stars mezzo-soprano Ann Hallenberg in the title role with Harry Bicket conducting. The performances feature the Clarion Choir and soloists soprano Elena Villalón, mezzo-soprano Niamh O’Sullivan, tenor James Way and baritone Brandon Cedel.
Next up, the company tours to the Auditorio Nacional de Música, Madrid (February 26), Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley (March 5), LA Opera, Los Angeles (March 10) and Carnegie Hall, New York (March 12). A further concert celebrating the work of Handel will be staged at the Barbican on Feb. 28.
The ensemble then performs Handel’s “Ariodante” at the Paris Opera. This production reunites the creative minds of Bicket and Robert Carsen with acclaimed mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo in the title role. Soprano Olga Kulchynska takes on the role of Ginevra and performs alongside soprano Tamara Banjesevic, countertenor Christophe Dumaux, tenors Eric Ferring and Enrico Casari, and bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni.
The company also heads to Wigmore Hall and at the Garsington Opera in 2023.
Alongside all the concerts, the ensemble is set to record and perform Messiah in full at Coventry Cathedral on Nov. 24. Conductor John Nelson debuts with the orchestra and conducts soloists soprano Lisette Oropesa, countertenor Alex Potter, tenor Michael Spyres and bass Matthew Brook.