Seductive Sorcery amongst Handel’s Rampant Royals

Thursday 10 July, 6.30-7.30pm

This concert is now Sold Out


Christina Raphaelle Haldane (soprano)
Carl Philippe Gionet (harpsichord) 


The royal courts of Handel’s heroines were places of indulgence and intrigue: seduction and sorcery. The queens and princesses portrayed in his operas were women of power, who possessed and played with the supernatural in order to achieve what they wanted. The mystical queen Alcina, princess Deidamia of Scyros, and Cleopatra queen of Egypt all addressed the Gods in their quests for power, love and happiness. The arias are powerful, and many test the musical boundaries of the time in order to fully portray the drama. For example Alcina's command to the spirits in Ombre pallide contrasts the playful Cleopatra, as she charmingly calls on her gods to aid in her seduction of Cesare in the lesser performed Tu la mia stella sei and Venere bella. Handel’s last opera Deidamia is opera seria with a sprinkling of ‘buffa’ with the original title being ‘Achilles Among the Girls’. Princess Diademia muses that Achilles will reveal his identity by constantly returning to his love in Nasconde L’usignol; being the young warrior that he is, he simply cannot stop himself. When Achilles is discovered Deidamia curses the Greeks who lead him, commanding the waves to destroy their ships in M’hai resa infelice.

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


Tu la mia stella sei from Guilio Cesare
Venere bella from Guilio Cesare
Nasconde L’usignol from Deidamia
M’hai resa infelice from Deidamia
Di cor mio from Alcina
Ombre pallide form Alcina


£9, £5 students


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