Emerging as one of Handel’s finest operas, Amadigi is a work we have longed to record.
The circumstances of the last 18 months have enforced a delay to our plans - but now we are thrilled to revive this project, with a wonderful team of singers and players.
Over seven intensive days in autumn 2021, artistic director Christian Curnyn, the four soloists, and nineteen instrumentalists will come together with Chandos' world-class recording team in the perfect acoustic of St Jude's, Hampstead.
Our previous recording of Acis & Galatea was The Times' Album of the Month and won the opera category of the BBC Music Magazine awards.
You can be part of the story...
This Crowdfunder project offers all sorts of fabulous rewards to raise our final target of £10,000, to make this recording a reality.
- be there in person at a recording session, as each aria shines out and each recitative explores the story;
- have your own signed CD;
- join friends and the musicians at the CD launch event;
- support a particular instrument or soloist role;
- join us for an exclusive dinner;
- or even host a concert in your own home.
This new CD recording will be released on Chandos Record's early music label, Chaconne, in 2022 - just over 300 years since Amadigi received its premiere, in London.
Please help us by making a donation and pledging your support.
Why do we need your help now?
We have already raised well over half of the total project budget from Chandos Records, several charitable trusts (including Continuo Foundation) and a generous EOC backer. Now we need to raise the final £10,000.
It's a big challenge, but we know we can do it together. Your support will be used to pay the musicians for seven days of rehearsal and recording sessions, rehearsal space and harpsichord hire. Chandos are providing the venue, equipment and production and engineering expertise.
The end result will be an outstanding recording which Chandos will release, promote and distribute world-wide in 2022. Please join many others to make this recording the best it can be. Thank you!
Your passion, our music; we can make this happen together!
You can choose from some top rewards too. Whether you're already passionate about early music, want to have a signed copy of the CD, intrigued to see how a recording is made, want to dine out with some of our leading musicians or fancy a bespoke concert in your own home, take a look at the rewards on offer.
Some rewards are 'first come first served', such as pairing your name with one of our star soloists, a player from the orchestra, or Christian Curnyn himself. Will you be the first to pledge £500 and have your pick of supporting one of the major roles?
The Amadigi team
L-R: Tim Mead, Anna Dennis, Lucy Crowe, Hilary Summers
Countertenor Tim Mead is praised for his “alluring” and “consistently excellent” interpretations (New York Times). With his “rich, mellifluous sound” (Guardian), he is recognised as one of the finest across the generations of counter-tenors. He recently took the part of Dardano under Christian Curnyn at Garsington's Amadigi, and here takes the title role.
Oriana is sung by "delectable soprano" (The Times) Anna Dennis, who took the part of Galatea in our 2021 production of Acis & Galatea at Buxton Festival. She has performed in productions at English National Opera, Opera North, Gottingen and La Scala in Milan.
Soprano Lucy Crowe, a frequent EOC collaborator, sings the role of Melissa. Lucy is frequently in demand with opera companies and orchestras throughout the world, recently appearing at ENO, Royal Opera House, the Berlin Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera New York.
Dardano, the role sometimes sung by a counter-tenor, is here taken by alto Hilary Summers who has excelled in many of Handel's 'hero' roles, such as Giulio Cesare. Regularly appearing in the great opera houses and festivals of Europe including La Scala and Aix en Provence, Hilary appears on no fewer than four of our recordings.
Christian Curnyn is the brains and musical inspiration behind Early Opera Company, bringing his experience conducting at opera houses all over Europe. His dynamic conducting and forensic focus on the drama of the music brings the best out of every musician he works with. His commitment to uncovering little-known corners of baroque music is a driving force in the early music world.
The players of EOC include the very best baroque instrumentalists working in the UK today. The distinctive sound of period instruments transports us back to Handel's London, where Amadigi had its premiere in 1715.
Amadigi - what's it about?
At the heart of any great opera is a thrilling plot. The knight Amadigi is loved by both Princess Oriana (who is loved in return) and by Melissa - a jealous sorceress who won't take no for an answer. To complicate matters, Amadigi's companion Dardano also loves Oriana. Will Melissa's attempts to win Amadigi's heart lead to happiness or tragedy?
Handel’s dramatic setting is a spectacle of enchantment, ghostly spirits and hellish demons. He explores every emotion, from jealousy, vindictiveness, and infatuation, to passion, optimism and triumph.
Christian Curnyn with Early Opera Company
Early Opera Company - our history and our future
“This was a concert to be treasured... The Early Opera Company's sparkling concert performance was a tonic... The company celebrates Handel's animation to perfection.” The Observer
"Find anything exciting happening in period opera in the UK and Curnyn will be involved." The Spectator
Since its inception in 1995, Early Opera Company has established itself as one of the UK’s most exciting ensembles specialising in Baroque vocal works. It regularly performs at Wigmore Hall and St John’s Smith Square, and is frequently broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
EOC has cemented its reputation in the last few years with its highly successful collaborations with the Royal Opera: Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and Il Ritorno D’Ulisse at the Roundhouse, Cavalli’s L’Ormindo and Luigi Rossi’s L’Orfeo at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, the latter nominated for an Olivier Award, and Handel’s Solomon on the ROH main stage. Further afield, EOC recently made its debut at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam with Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Blow’s Venus and Adonis, which was also broadcast live on NPR Radio.
A frequent collaborator with Chandos Records, EOC’s recordings have won several awards, including the opera category of the BBC Music Magazine Awards for Handel’s Alceste as well as Acis and Galatea, a Diapason d’Or for Eccles’ The Judgment of Paris and the Stanley Sadie Handel Prize for Handel’s Semele. Other Chandos recordings include Handel’s Serse, Flavio and Partenope, and EOC has recorded Handel’s Il Trionfo del Tempo for Wigmore Live.
In July 2021, EOC staged five performances of Handel’s Acis and Galatea at the Buxton International Festival. Near-future projects include Blow Venus and Adonis at St John’s Smith Square and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at the Concertgebouw in Bruges.
Il Ritorno D’Ulisse at the Roundhouse; photo by Stephen Cummiskey
We're nearly there!
If you would like to pledge with a charity cheque instead of online, please do get in touch: [email protected].