World-renowned ensemble The Gabrieli Consort & Players makes its first Australian tour, illuminating the glorious music of Henry Purcell’s semi-opera King Arthur at Melbourne Recital Centre.
Presented in one of the world’s finest recital halls, the orchestra’s resplendent artistry together with the theatricality and high imagination of King Arthur makes this a concert of the ages.
Led by founder and Artistic Director Paul McCreesh, for more than three decades the orchestra’s survey of Baroque and Renaissance music has brought new light to a diversity of treasures from Handel’s Messiah to J.S. Bach’s Epiphany Mass, its acclaimed reconstruction of the Coronation Mass for Venetian Doge Marino Grimani and now Purcell’s King Arthur.
Since The Gabrieli Consort & Players’ first recording of Purcell in the mid-90s, it has been heralded as the foremost interpreter of the British Baroque composer’s timeless music. No orchestra today can give better justice to King Arthur. Bold in its attention to detail, single-minded in its pursuit of virtuosity, The Gabrieli Consort & Players has already astounded audiences with its finessed performances of The Fairy Queen, with The Guardian (U.K.) remarking, ‘The playing was exemplary, the singing extraordinary in its precision … a life-enhancing evening, every single second of it’.
King Arthur contains the joy, wit and elegance that audiences adore in Purcell’s scores combined with the immortal poetry of Dryden. Five acts of romance, trickery and magic, sees the orchestra and choir dazzle listeners with enchanting dance rhythms and lyrical songs. An undoubted highlight is the famous ‘Frost Scene’ featuring the enthralling chorus ‘’Tis Love that has warm’d us’. To have this irradiated by the pure voices of The Gabrieli Consort & Players in the surrounds of Elisabeth Murdoch Hall is a testament to Melbourne Recital Centre’s reputation as one of the country’s premier presenters of early and fine music.
Conductor Paul McCreesh leads Britain’s finest Purcell singers, including sopranos Anna Dennis and Mhairi Lawson; tenors Hugo Hymas and James Gilchrist; and baritones Marcus Farnsworth and Ashley Riches. Describing the production as a ‘voyage of discovery’ no aspect of the performance has been overlooked or ignored, with The Gabrieli Consort & Players having the highest expectations that its recordings and performances of King Arthur will be cherished for decades.
Purcell’s vivid and lyrical King Arthur performed by The Gabrieli Consort & Players comes to Melbourne Recital Centre for two dates only in summer 2019.
‘Purcell doesn’t come much better than this …’ The Times (U.K.)
‘Budding singers, composers, conductors and producers everywhere take note: this is how it’s done.’ Classic FM Music
The Gabrieli Consort & Players
PURCELL King Arthur
Saturday 16 February 7.30pm & Sunday 17 February 2pm
Elisabeth Murdoch Hall (Two hours incl. interval)
A reserve $129 ($119 Concession)
B reserve $99 ($75 Concession)
C reserve $75
Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre
Supported by Yvonne von Hartel AM, Robert Peck AM, Rachel Peck & Martin Peck of peckvonhartel architects
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