Salon to Stage

Handel’s chamber music and ‘Royal’ arias

Thursday 21 August, 6.30-7.30pm

This concert is Sold Out

Actus Musicus

Rory McCleery (countertenor)
Anna Curzon (baroque violin)
Isabel Meuser (baroque violin)
Emily Ashton (cello)
John McKean (harpsichord)


Actus Musicus perform a programme of countertenor arias from Handel’s ‘Royal’ operas, with chamber music by Handel and his contemporary Michael Festing. Two of Handel’s well-loved chamber works, the Violin Sonata in D major and F major Trio Sonata from Op.5, are contrasted with a rarely heard trio sonata by Festing. The musical parallels are clear and unsurprising, given that the two worked alongside each other in London. Festing was a violinist (a student of Geminiani) as well as a composer, who helped to set up the Academy of Ancient Music in London and, along with Handel, was a co-founder of the Fund for the Support of Decay'd Musicians and their Families, which became the Royal Society of Musicians.

The ‘Royal’ arias in this programme showcase the range and depth of Handel’s operatic writing, from the gentle V’adoro, o luci belle (Riccardo Primo), to the restless Agitata da fiato incostante, sung by Fernando in Rodrigo. The programme concludes with Thou shalt bring them in from Israel in Egypt, an oratorio in which Handel recycled music from his funeral motet for Queen Caroline.

This concert is part of Hanover Rules! celebrating the 300th Anniversary of the Hanoverian Succession.


Violin Sonata in D major, Op.1 no.13
Io sperai trovar riposo and Deh! Non dir from Ottone, Re di Germania

Trio Sonata in D minor, Op.6 no.2

Agitata da fiato from Rodrigo
V'adoro, o luci belle from Riccardo Primo, Re d'Inghliterra
Trio Sonata in F major, Op.5 no.6
Thou shalt bring them in from Israel in Egypt


£9, £5 students


Booking line: +44(0)20 7399 1953
Friends booking: Monday 17 March, 10am
Public booking: Monday 31 March, 10am