Thursday 30th June 2022, 8pm, Opera Holland Park Theatre, Ilchester Place, London W8 6LU
Exciting historical performance ensemble Figure will bring a fresh and intimate semi-staged
performance of Handel’s Serse to London’s Opera Holland Park this June. The recently
established group aims to represent the rising generation of historical musicians, valuing
intimacy in performance and, above all, the human connection which gives music meaning.
When King Serse falls in love with the voice of his brother’s beloved, he tries to use his authority
to force her to marry him in this exploration of power, desire, and human frailty. Serse features
some of Handel’s most striking music, including one of his most famous arias, ‘Ombra mai fu’.
This stunning and vibrant score will be brought to life by a dramatic physical theatre ensemble
directed by movement specialist Sam Rayner (Jack Whitehall: At Large, NETFLIX; Umm Kulthum
& the Golden Era, London Palladium)
Recently nominated by the Evening Standard as one of the most influential artists in the UK,
British soprano Sarah Tynan will take on the role of Romilda, with renowned Mezzo Soprano
Cecelia Hall (The Metropolitan Opera; Oper Frankfurt) singing the title role. Figure will use space
and light to capture the heart of this expressive composition and bring the audience as close to
the music as possible.
Founder and musical director Frederick Waxman (founder of Ante Terminum) says, This is a
fantastic opportunity for Figure and an incredible achievement within our first year of activity.
Opera Holland Park has a reputation for supporting young talent and we are thrilled to be
performing with them. Serse is one of Handel’s greatest works and where better to present it
than here, surrounded by Holland Park’s plane trees, the subject of his beautiful and opera-
defining aria ‘Ombra mai fu’.
In honour of the central figure of ‘Ombra mai fu’, Figure will be joining forces with The
Conservation Foundation on their Heritage Tree Campaign. Having planted a large number of
trees over its 40 years, the organisation is now centralising its fundraising to spread support
across all its urban flora to promote, encourage and celebrate tree interests rather than only
The work took wing, with singers and players magnificently delivering its climactic moments of
terror and joy… The whole performance had thrilling immediacy (Michael Church, Music Critic
for The Independent, on the St John Passion).