| Halle Cathedral

Esther HWV 50 (concert performance)

Oratorio by G. F. Handel

Musical director: Jonathan Sells
Choire and orchestra: Solomon’s Knot
Zoë Brookshaw, Esther (soprano); Xavier Hetherington, Assverus,  (tenor)
Alex Ashworth, Haman, Bass; Joseph Doody, Mordecai, (tenor)
Kate Symonds-Joy, Israelitin (soprano); Thomas Herford, Erster Israelit, (tenor)
Clare Lloyd-Griffiths, (soprano); James Hall, (countertenor)
David de Winter, Habdonah, Offizier, Zweiter Israelit, (tenor)

Introductory talk: Stephan Drehmann, Stiftung Händel-Haus // 18:30 // Handel House, Glass Hall

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With this work, Handel created something completely new: Esther was his first-ever English oratorio, a genre he continued to develop during the following decades, refining it for better integration of the individual movements. His first oratorio is based on the Book of Esther, one of the most colourful Old Testament sources in terms of content. Not all of the oratorio was new – for example, he included some extracts from his Brockes Passion. Twelve years after composing it, he made radical changes to it for its first official London performance, in 1732. He originally wrote it during his employment by the Earl of Carnarvon, when he worked at the latter’s country seat of Cannons. This first version of the oratorio, written in 1720, is presented as a concert performance.