Helen Charlston and Anna Cavaliero to perform with Cambridge Handel Opera Company

Helen Charlston

Helen Charlston and Anna Cavaliero will take part in Cambridge Handel Opera Company’s performance of – and the first ever recording of – Weldon’s The Judgement of Paris. The performance will take place at Trinity College, Cambridge on Saturday 28th October.

A starry lineup of soloists will participate in the recording and performance of this neglected work.


Anna Dennis Venus
Kitty Whately Pallas
Helen Charlston Juno
Thomas Walker Mercury
Jonathan Brown Paris
Anna Cavaliero Attendant 1
Aksel Rykkvin Attendant
Julian Perkins
Academy of Ancient Music
Bojan Čičić leader of AAM


From Cambridge Handel Opera Company (CHOC):

Following the success of our performance and CD of John Eccles’ Semele, CHOC continues its alternation of Handel opera production with English music drama, composed in the decade before Handel’s arrival in England, that deserves to be better known.

Between The Way of the World and his libretto for Semele, Congreve wrote the libretto of a one-act masque on the famous classical story of the contest between three goddesses for the award of a golden apple by Paris, prince of Troy – a judgment that led to the Trojan War.

The libretto was itself designed for a contest, a musical one, with cash prizes, handsomely sponsored by a group of aristocrats. John Weldon, organist of New College Oxford, was the youngest finalist. Unexpectedly, his setting  – which improves on Congreve’s libretto ­– won first place in the ‘Musick Prize’, triumphing over the more conservative submissions by the three older and more experienced finalists, John Eccles, Daniel Purcell, and Gottfried Finger. 

Weldon had studied with Purcell, and was one of his most talented followers. In The Judgment of Paris he combines elements of Purcell’s style with attractive features of modern Italian opera, a kaleidoscopic variety of forms, vivid instrumental dialoguing, bravura coloratura for the soloists, charming choruses (in up to six parts) and not a few flashes of wit, suggesting how successfully English opera could have developed had Italian opera not annexed elite fashion.

Tickets for the performance will go on sale soon.


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