Highlights include:

  • Peter Whelan directs The English Concert in performance of Bach’s St John Passion
  • 4-concert international tour of Handel’s Serse led by Harry Bicket
  • Handel’s La Resurrezione is released on Linn Records on 8 April
  • The English Concert’s partnership with Garsington Opera continues with Monteverdi’s Orfeo Mozart’s Così fan tutte
  • Anna Dennis and The English Concert bring the 1720s to life at Cheltenham Music Festival

The English Concert is delighted to announce an exciting Spring and Summer in 2022. Peter Whelan directs The English Concert in a performance of Bach’s St John PassionHarry Bicket leads a four-concert international tour of Handel’s rarely heard Serseand the orchestra continues its partnership with Garsington Opera performing in two operas: Mozart’s Così fan tutte and Monteverdi’s Orfeo. The second album in The English Concert’s Handel series is released on Linn Records.

Bach’s St John Passion with Peter Whelan

With its compelling recitatives, electrifying choruses and heart-wrenching arias, Bach’s St John Passion is almost operatic in its drama. The English Concert and director Peter Whelan will bring the score alive and perform one of the greatest works of all time. The stellar cast includes soprano Rachel Redmond, mezzo-soprano Helen Charlston, tenor Mauro Peter (Evangelist), Konstantin Wolff (Jesus) and Ashley Riches (Peter and Pilate) at Wigmore Hall (1 April).

Handel’s La Resurrezione is released on Linn Records on 8 April

The English Concert and Harry Bicket’s acclaimed concert cycle of Handel operas and oratorios continues with its second release on Linn, following Handel’s Rodelinda last year. La Resurrezione, composed by Handel in his mid-twenties, and first performed on Easter Sunday in 1708, marked the climax of Handel’s time in Rome. The work details the events between and during Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The new recording will be released on Linn Records on April 8, exactly 312 years after it was first performed on Easter Sunday 8 April 1708. This new album features some of today’s finest voices including Lucy Crowe, Iestyn Davies, Sophie Bevan, Ashley Riches and Hugo Hymas. The next instalment in the series will be Handel’s Serse.

4-concert international tour of Handel’s Serse led by Harry Bicket

Harry Bicket and The English Concert will give five concert performances of Handel’s rarely heard Serse. Opening with his most famous aria, this opera takes listeners on a journey of exploration where tragedy and comedy intersect. The cast features Emily D’angelo in the title role (Serse), Lucy Crowe (Romilda), Mary Bevan (Atalanta), Neal Davies (Ariodate), Daniela Mack (Amastre) and William Dazeley (Elyiro). Performances will take place at St Martin-in-the-fields (5 May, 7pm), Carnegie Hall (8 May, 2pm), Pamplona (20 May), and Sage Gateshead (25 May).

Monteverdi’s Orfeo, Garsington Opera, opens on 1 June for 8 performances, 6.35pm

The English Concert returns to Garsington Opera to perform Monteverdi’s Orfeo. Conducted by Laurence Cummings with director John Caird making his Garsington Opera debut, the cast is led by Ed Lyon in the title role as Orfeo. He is joined by Diana Montague (The Messenger), Claire Lees (La Musica), Lauren Joyanne Morris (Proserpina), Laura Fleur (Speranza), and Zoe Drummond (Euridice). Monteverdi’s Orfeo encapsulates the human condition through Monteverdi’s genius. Orpheus sings his way to the underworld in pursuit of his wife Euridice, overcoming all obstacles by the power of his voice. There are 8 performances on 1, 3, 9, 11, 15, 23, 25 June and 3 July. More information here.

Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Garsington Opera, opens on 2 June for 8 performances, 5.25pm

The English Concert returns to Garsington Opera to perform Mozart’s Così fan tutte, a recreation of John Cox’s celebrated production from Garsington Manor. Tobias Ringborg conducts a cast including Camila Titinger (Fiordiligi), Polly Leech (Dorabella), Gavan Ring (Ferrando), Seán Boylan (Guglielmo), Henry Waddington (Don Alfonso) and Ailish Tynan (Despina). A tragicomic tale containing some of Mozart’s most captivating music, this light-hearted wager – which is the third of Mozart’s collaborations with Lorenzo da Ponte – depicts friendship, persuasion, and love and

explores every experience and emotion of the central characters. There are 11 performances on 2, 4, 10, 12, 17, 26 June and 1, 8, 13, 16, 20 July. More information here.

Anna Dennis and The English Concert at Buxton International Festival & Cheltenham Music Festival

The musical rivalry between Handel and Bononcini, both living in London in the 1720s, led the poet John Byrom to poke fun at them as “Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee”, thus creating the pair of characters that Lewis Carroll would make famous. This concert from soprano Anna Dennis and The English Concert offers a fascinating chance to compare the music of these two masters side-by-side at both Buxton International Festival on 11 July and Cheltenham Music Festival on 15 July.