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Love and War – Opera Arias and Duets for Soprano, Countertenor and Baritone
23rd November 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Alice Privett (soprano), Benjamin Williamson (countertenor), Ed Ballard (baritone), Richard Leach (Piano)
‘Love and war are all one’ wrote Miguel de Cervantes in Don Quixote and how often this is true in the world of opera. In an art form that so often deals with extremes, composers and librettists have time and again been drawn to stories of passion and romance in the context of warfare, death and sacrifice. Love during times of war can be more urgent, more fickle, more intense, more devastating. But love itself is also a kind of warfare, as Cervantes implies, with the conflicts and upheavals of love often finding parallels in those of war itself; indeed, as saying goes, all is fair in love and war.
In this recital we explore arias from the baroque to the early romantic period, with works encompassing Monteverdi, Purcell, Rameau, Handel, Mozart, Donizetti, Bellini and Rossini. We see characters touched by war and moved by love in arias spanning desire, seduction and devotion to jealousy, betrayal and heartbreak.
Hosted again in Holy Trinity Sloane Square, amidst the atmospheric splendour of one of the finest Arts and Crafts churches in London, this should be a thrilling recital for a cold November evening.
The former Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman called Holy Trinity Church the ‘Cathedral of the Arts & Crafts Movement’, and that indeed is what it is, containing treasures by William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones among many others. Built in 1888 – 90, the architect John Dando Sedding believed that a church should be ‘wrought and painted over with everything that has life and beauty—in frank and fearless naturalism…’ But more than that, like other men of faith Sedding knew what a church was for: "It is well for a man to have a circle of religious exercises that can so hedge him about, so get behind his life and wind themselves by long familiarity into his character, that they become part of his everyday existence…" Many notable figures have worshipped at the Church, including the colourful Liberals, Gladstone and Dilke.