Solomon - George Frederic Handel
Simon Carrington, guest conductor
Masaaki Suzuki, director
Michael Wisdom, countertenor
with the Yale Baroque Ensemble, Robert Mealy, director
soloists from the ISM graduate voice program
James Taylor, director
St. Mary’s Church
Free; no tickets required. Presented with support from Yale School of Music.
Simon Carrington returns to Yale to conduct the Schola Cantorum, which he founded in 2003, in a performance of one of Handel’s greatest oratorios, a tour de force with all the hallmarks of his style: in the conductor’s words it is “glorious music that is at once celebratory, touching, pastoral, erotic, nostalgic, martial, triumphant, and even politically relevant!” The free concert will take place at 8 pm on Friday, November 11 at St. Mary’s Church in New Haven (5 Hillhouse Ave.)
For the performance, the 24-voice chamber choir, which specializes in music from before 1750, will join forces with the Yale Baroque Ensemble, directed by Robert Mealy. The soloists are from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music’s vocal program in early music, oratorio, and chamber ensemble, led by James Taylor.
The title role will be sung by the countertenor Michael Wisdom; seven other roles are taken by the soloists in a richly diverse cast: Pharaoh’s daughter, the Queen of Sheba, the two Harlots (between whom Solomon has to pass his wise judgment with what Carrington describes as some of Handel’s most beguiling music), Zadok the Priest, and the two Levites. The orchestra is unusually large for the period, with brass, winds, and timpani in addition to the string band; and there are eleven choruses, mostly in eight parts. According to Carrington, “the chorus represents the builders and inhabitants of Solomon’s golden city, and provides the pillars on which the whole amazing musical edifice stands.”
The concert, presented by Yale Institute of Sacred Music with support from the Yale School of Music, is free; no tickets are required.