HANDEL Aci, Galatea e Polifemo
Soprano, Zoë Brookshaw
Mezzo-soprano, Bethany Horak-Hallett (pictured)
Bass, Trevor Bowes
‘The Wilderness Pleases’ is inspired by one of the many influential pieces of work to come out of the Enlightenment era; Shaftesbury’s ‘The Moralists.’
In the book, the main character Theocles describes the terror of encountering a group of crocodiles in an Egyptian desert. After escaping the monsters, he is overcome with a desire to admire them as wondrous creatures of the natural world. He says,
‘let us fly to the vast deserts of these parts […] ghastly and hideous as they appear they want not their peculiar beauties. Wilderness pleases.’
Delve into the darker side of the wilderness with ‘Demons in the Bath: Aci, Galatea e Polifemo’ on 23 January featuring bass Trevor Bowes and OAE Rising Stars alumni Zoë Brookshaw and Bethany Horak-Hallett.
Handel’s tragic tale is about two lovers who are being kept apart as servants by a villainous cyclops creature, with its thrilling and varied scoring, the music excites a sense of both determination and helplessness in confronting the natural world. As Handel’s music so often does, this concert challenges our understanding of order and fairness and delivers us to a supernatural world of poetic possibilities.