Handel: Athalia

Saturday 8 June 2019, 7:30 pm

Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford

Tickets: £42, £30, £20, £15

Tickets available from https://obctickets.uk/2019-06-08/

The Sheldonian Theatre was opened in 1669, 350 years ago, and the OBC celebrates this anniversary with one of the greatest pieces premiered there, Handel’s oratorio Athalia.  Not only is this the only oratorio conducted by Handel in Oxford, but the Sheldonian is almost certainly the only surviving building where we know he performed any of his oratorios.  Athalia itself tells the dramatic tale of the downfall of the evil usurper Athalia, Queen of Judah, daughter of Jezebel and worshipper of Baal, with appropriately colourful and exciting music for soloists and chorus alike.

The choir will be joined by Florilegium – one of the country’s most outstanding period instrument ensembles – and a stellar cast of soloists: Elin Manahan Thomas Soprano; Alison Ponsford-Hill Soprano; Simon Ponsford Countertenor; James Gilchrist Tenor; Nicholas Morton Bass.

At 6:20pm there will be a free pre-concert talk: Wren and Handel at the Sheldonian: Oxford and the wider world”

Anthony Geraghty, Professor of the History of Art at the University of York and author of ‘The Sheldonian Theatre: Architecture and Learning in Seventeenth-Century Oxford’ and Dr Robin Darwall-Smith, Archivist of University and Jesus Colleges, Oxford, who has written extensively on eighteenth-century Oxford, and is currently writing about All Souls College during this period will discuss the the building of the Sheldonian, Handel’s visit to Oxford in 1733, and the political worlds of the 1660s and 1730s and how these affected events in Oxford.

There is no charge for this pre-concert talk and it is open to all.


Duration: Approximately 2 hours including one interval of 20 minutes