Help us record Greene's 'Jephtha'

by Early Opera Company in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

Total raised £7,905

raised so far

+ est. £1853.75 Gift Aid

62

supporters

We are thrilled to bring Maurice Greene's rarely-performed masterpiece Jephtha to life in the first ever recording of this magnificent work

by Early Opera Company in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 5th February 2024 we'd raised £7,655 with 60 supporters in 49 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

JEPHTHA, Maurice Greene

Over five intensive days in March 2024, conductor and Founder of Early Opera Company Christian Curnyn will once again bring together a distinguished ensemble of soloists and instrumentalists with Chandos' world-class team in the perfect acoustic of St Augustine’s, Kilburn, in a recording of Maurice Greene's rarely-performed masterpiece Jephtha. This is a magnificent work, almost unknown in modern times. 

CAST

Andrew Staples Jephtha  

Mary Bevan Jephtha's Daughter

Michael Mofidian First Elder of Gilead

Mark Milhofer Second Elder of Gilead

with the EOC Orchestra.

Image of the four soloists in Jephtha: Andrew Staples, Mary Bevan, Michael Mofidian and Mark Milhofer

L-R: Andrew Staples, Mary Bevan, Michael Mofidian, Mark Milhofer

Our most recent critically-acclaimed recordings include Handel's Amadigi in 2022 and Acis and Galatea in 2017. Amadigi received 5 stars from BBC Music Magazine and was selected for Gramophone Critics' Choice favourite classical albums of 2022. Acis and Galatea was featured as The Times' Album of the Month and won the Opera Category of the BBC Music Magazine Awards.

We very much hope that you will once again be inspired to support our forthcoming recording of Maurice Greene’s rarely performed Jephtha.

THE STORY…

Maurice Greene was one of Britain's leading composers in the first half of the eighteenth century, serving as Master of the King’s Musick from 1735 until 1755. Handel and Greene were great friends who ironically ended up being arch-rivals. Jephtha was written in 1737 and first performed by the Apollo Academy, a group of composers who had come together to establish a concert series to rival Handel’s own. This concert series, including the premiere of Jephtha, was performed at the Apollo room in Fleet Street.

Jephtha is arguably Greene's greatest masterpiece, with a rich and varied score, majestic choruses combined with heartbreaking arias and rousing instrumental numbers. Unlike Handel’s work of the same name, it is in two acts and preserves the tragic end of the original story. The war-like quality of Part One is followed by jubilation and subsequent mourning in Part Two.

In Handel's rendition, the Angel intervenes to spare Jephtha's daughter, contrasting with Greene's bleaker interpretation where she receives no such reprieve. The final chorus of lamentation provides a poignant moment. Notably, the second part revolves around a dialogue between Jephtha and his daughter as they grapple with the tragic implications of Jephtha's vow.

Using Peter Lynan's 1996 edition, the recording will be produced by Jonathan Cooper and scheduled for release on the Chandos Chaconne label in early 2025. 

EARLY OPERA COMPANY

Founded in 1994 by its music director, Christian Curnyn, Early Opera Company is now firmly established as one of Britain’s leading early music ensembles. 

Christian is the musical inspiration behind Early Opera Company, bringing his experience conducting in opera houses worldwide. His dynamic conducting is a driving force in the early music world.

The EOC Orchestra includes some of the very best baroque instrumentalists working in the UK today. The distinctive sound of period instruments transports us back to eighteenth-century London, where Jephtha had its premiere on Fleet Street in 1737.

OUR VISION is to celebrate baroque music in ways that delight and inspire audiences. 

Music enriches all of our lives, whether performing or listening; it brings enjoyment and relaxation which is vital to our wellbeing. A global pandemic has taught us that accessibility is as important as excellence and we are committed to both performing and recording works of magnificence which can be enjoyed by everyone, at any time and in any circumstance.

Photograph of the Early Opera Company standing outside St John's Smith Square

YOU CAN BE PART OF THE STORY...

This Crowdfunder project offers a range of fabulous opportunities to help raise our funding target of £10,000 and make this recording a reality.

Your support will help us in our mission to collaborate with world-class partners to inspire audiences with outstanding productions, recordings and broadcasts of baroque opera and early music, and to invest in the professional development of the next generation of baroque-specialist musicians.

YOU COULD...

  • be there in person at a recording session, and see the singers and players bring the score to life;
  • receive a signed copy of the CD when it is released;
  • join friends and the musicians at the launch event;
  • support a particular soloist or instrument.

This new recording will be released on Chandos Record's early music label, Chaconne, in 2025 – as we celebrate our 30th Anniversary.

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 several charitable trusts (including Continuo Foundation) and a generous EOC Syndicate. Now we need to raise the final £10,000.

Your support will enable us to pay the musicians for all of the rehearsal and recording sessions, rehearsal space, music, and harpsichord hire. Chandos will provide the venue, equipment and production, and engineering expertise.

This exciting recording will be released, promoted and distributed world-wide by Chandos in 2025 – our 30th Anniversary year. 

Image of a recording session of Handel's Amadigi in December 2021

YOUR PASSION, OUR MUSIC; WE CAN MAKE THIS HAPPEN TOGETHER!

Whether you're already passionate about early music, want to receive a signed copy of the CD, or are intrigued to see how a recording is made, please take a look at the opportunities on offer in recognition of your support.

Some rewards are limited and available on a 'first come first served' basis, such as sponsoring one of our star soloists, players from the orchestra, or conductor, Christian Curnyn. 

Please help us make this recording a reality to be enjoyed for years to come, and help us to continue our mission to delight and inspire new and diverse audiences through this wonderful rediscovered work. Thank you!

Rewards

This project offered rewards

£1,000 or more

£1000 PLEDGE

Named support of the conductor or one of the leading soloists Invitation to attend a CD recording session in March 2024, meeting Christian, soloists and players afterwards A signed copy of the CD of Maurice Greene’s Jephtha Heartfelt thanks on our website Your name listed in the CD booklet Email notifications of forthcoming EOC events Invitation for two guests to EOC Drinks Reception at which the Jephtha CDs will be launched

£25 or more

£25 PLEDGE

Heartfelt thanks on our website along with your name listed in the CD booklet – you made this recording possible – and email notifications of forthcoming EOC events

£50 or more

£50 PLEDGE

A copy of the CD of Maurice Greene’s Jephtha. Heartfelt thanks on our website along with your name listed in the CD booklet – you made this recording possible – and email notifications of forthcoming EOC events

£100 or more

£100 PLEDGE

An Invitation for two guests to EOC Drinks Reception at which the Jephtha CDs will be launched. A signed copy of the CD of Maurice Greene’s Jephtha. Heartfelt thanks on our website along with your name listed in the CD booklet – you made this recording possible – and email notifications of forthcoming EOC events

£250 or more

£250 PLEDGE

Invitation to attend a CD recording session in March 2024, meeting Christian, soloists and players afterwards along with an invitation for two guests to EOC Drinks Reception at which the Jephtha CDs will be launched. A signed copy of the CD of Maurice Greene’s Jephtha. Heartfelt thanks on our website and your name listed in the CD booklet – you made this recording possible – and email notifications of forthcoming EOC events

£500 or more

£500 PLEDGE

Named support of the Orchestra & Chorus. An invitation to attend a CD recording session in March 2024, meeting Christian, soloists and players along with an Invitation for two guests to EOC Drinks Reception at which the Jephtha CDs will be launched. A signed copy of the CD of Maurice Greene’s Jephtha. Heartfelt thanks on our website and your name listed in the CD booklet and email notifications of forthcoming EOC events

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