His times: Handel’s Europe was ruled by what must have seemed like a clique of wealthy cronies, especially as the composer’s one-time boss the Elector of Hanover later became his new boss as King of England. It was to this land that Handel committed the greatest part of his life, settling here in 1712 and taking English citizenship in 1727.Read More
The concluding part of Bassoonist Halley Pullen’s Ryedale Festival Tour Diary.
Wednesday 14th September
We arrived at the Brunton Theatre for an orchestral rehearsal. Ian Tindale, our director on harpsichord, had a few new details and changes to cadenzas for us. For the most part, our ensemble felt comfortable and familiar, apart from getting used to the acoustic, which was surprisingly helpful for hearing orchestral detail but a bit dry for the singers’ tastes. Our bass player Hannah borrowed a baroque bass from a local player (for perhaps obvious reasons to those who have seen a bass flight case) and had to quickly get used to playing a totally new instrument.Read More
OAE Experience bassoon Hayley Pullen writes about her adventures at the Ryedale Festival in Yorkshire.Read More
We started the festive season on Tuesday with our performance of Messiah at the Royal Festival Hall.Read More
Music critic Andrew Mellor explains why he loves Handel, why the Messiah is such a powerful piece of music an why, at that final ‘Amen’, it feels like Christmas has finally arrived.Read More
Handel’s Messiah is probably the most performed choral work in history, and despite being about the whole of Jesus’ life it is now mainly performed at Christmas.Read More
In concerts generally we play the music and you listen and enjoy. There is of course one well known exception – and that is the Hallelujah chorus of Handel’s Messiah. For reasons we’ll explain in a future post generally what happens ( in the UK at least) is that the entire audience stands up and joins in – much to the bemusement of any non-Brits in the audience.Read More
This Saturday we’ll be doing something just a little different with our late night series The Night Shift, and popping up at the legendary Vauxhall club Duckie.Read More
The dinner jackets have been returned to their wardrobes and the picnic hampers stowed as Glyndebourne is over for another year.Read More
Boyce’s Solomon – A Serenata was wildly popular in its day and even eclipsed Handel’s Messiah in the popularity stakes. But it’s libretto was perhaps slightly racy and it fell foul of later, more prudish, tastes.
Watch the video below for a sneak peek at our rehearsals.Read More
On 12 June we close our Southbank 2013-2014 Season with Gamechangers: Mildly Rude?, so called for its inclusion of Boyce’s Solomon – A Serenata, which caused outrage when performed in front of Victorian audiences.Read More
On 12 June, Steven Devine will direct the OAE in Gamechangers: Mildly Rude? Here we spoke with him about Bach and The Butterfly Effect…
His times: As was the case for most professional musicians at the time, the church shaped much of William Boyce’s early musical life. He sang at St Paul’s Cathedral in whose shadow he was born, before holding appointments as organist at a number of city churches and becoming Master of the King’s Music.Read More
As we prepare for Gamechangers: Mildly Rude? on 12 June at Queen Elizabeth Hall, we take a look at a few things you might not already now about Handel. Even Baroque superstars have secrets…Read More
In this week’s Current Distractions – street art, a dressed up dad, a matchstick Hogwarts, mind music, a lady singing in a lake and much, much more.
Actually, no, that’s pretty much everything.Read More
David Daniels performs a selection of Handel’s operatic arias on this, his debut release.Read More
We spoke with acclaimed harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, as he gets ready to perform CPE Bach with us in Gamechangers: A Forgotten Revolutionary on Thursday 30 January.Read More
We chased down the wonderful Victoria Simmonds; aka Flamel in our up and coming concert performance of Offenbach’s Fantasio, to talk about some of the finer things in life (books, opera, Brad Pitt, that sort of thing…)Read More
Looks radiant doesn’t she? This ecstatic lady is Queen Anne. Exactly 300 years ago, Handel composed the Ode for the Birthday of Queen Ann, partly for her but also to celebrate but also the accomplishment of the Treaty of Utrecht which was negotiated in order to end the War of the Spanish Succession.Read More
Using music to raise money is today commonplace. Think Live Aid, think Busk Aid, or even look at superstars like Bono, Bob Geldof, Annie Lennox and, er Ginger Spice, who all are well known for their charitable activities.Read More