Ensemble Hesperi at Buxton International Festival this July

Ensemble Hesperi

Have you ever wondered how Handel’s own audiences would have experienced his operas? Liberata Collective endeavours to recreate this experience for modern audiences: using period instruments, providing printed libretti, and most crucially, performing in the art of Baroque Gesture (rarely seen on stages since that period). The complex plot of Orlando, one of Handel’s most vibrant and experimental works, is interpreted through a series of expressive movements, in the style that Handel’s own singers would have performed.

One of the three Handel operas based on Ludovico Ariosto’s epic poem Orlando Furioso, Orlando premiered at the King’s Theatre in London on 27 January 1722 and ran for only 10 performances. Now considered a masterpiece, it fell into obscurity until its revival in 1922, and since the 1960s has been more regularly
performed. The plot centres on the obsessive and intense relationships between the knight Orlando, the princess Angelica, the prince Medoro and the shepherdess Dorinda, watched over by the magician Zoroastro. Orlando’s refusal to accept Angelica’s choice of lover leads him to madness and violence.

For this production, the exciting young singers of Liberata Collective – who between them have performed as soloists with Royal Opera House, Welsh National Opera, Longborough Festival Opera, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Opera Holland Park and Opéra de Lyon – join forces with the dynamic and innovative musicians of Ensemble Hesperi, playing on period instruments. Musical Director and highly-respected historical performance expert Adrian Butterfield directs the opera from the violin. 

Ensemble Hesperi is a dynamic and innovative London-based Early Music ensemble, dedicated to showcasing Baroque music through imaginative programming and collaboration with other art forms.


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