"We continue the complete oratorios in English by Handel, commissioned from Leonardo Garcia Alarcon with another masterpiece, Solomon. With its colourful and finely nuanced instrumentation, theatrical choral parts and virtuoso solos, Solomon shows the full diversity and range of Handel’s expressiveness. In particular, the grandiose visit by the Queen of Sheba, a sumptuous finale with one of the most beautiful choruses composed by Handel. The magnificence of Solomon has made it one of Handel’s defining works today. Solomon’s legendary wisdom is exemplified here by the story of two prostitutes vying for recognition, both of them, as the mother of a baby presented to him. Solomon suggests cutting the child in two with his sword, to give half to each of them. The real mother refuses the suggestion, agreeing to leave the baby to the other woman: Solomon thus recognises that her maternal instinct has spoken and that she is really the child’s mother. We see the general return for this Solomon of the marvellous soloists who made such a success of Samson, Saul and Semele, with the exception of the title role, the no less marvellous American countertenor Christopher Lowrey, who will make his debut in Beaune."
G. F HAENDEL 1685 – 1759
ORATORIO IN ENGLISH IN 3 ACTS, PREMIERED THE 17 MARCH 1749 AT KING’S THEATER OF COVENT GARDEN IN LONDON. LIBRETTO ATTRIBUTED TO THOMAS MORELL, BASED IN PARTICULAR ON THE BOOKS OF KINGS AND THE BOOK OF CHRONICLES.
NAMUR CHOIR & MILLENIUM ORCHESTRA
Musical Direction : LEONARDO GARCIA ALARCON
Solomon Christopher Lowrey, countertenor
Zadock Matthew Newlin, tenor
Reine de Saba, 1st Prostitute Ana Maria Labin, soprano
2nd Prostitute Gwendoline Blondeel, soprano
A levite Andreas Wolf, bass