Cambridge Handel Opera Company announces production of Handel’s “Tamerlano”

Opera music

Photo credit: Luke Koch from Gooreynd

The Cambridge Handel Opera Company (CHOC) has announced that it will be staging Handel’s “Tamerlano” in the spring of 2022. Scheduled from April 5 to 9 at Leys Cambridge, the production, directed by Dionysios Kyropoulos, features staging practices from Handel’s time and the use of period instruments.

The announced cast includes James Laing in Tamerlano, Christopher Turner in Bajazet, Thalie Knights in Andronico, Leila Zanette in Irene, Jolyon Loy in Leone and Caroline Taylor in Asteria. Artistic Director Julian Perkins will conduct Sounds Baroque.

Perkins said in the company’s press release that “Tamerlano” probes the dilemmas of loyalty, identity, family and desire. Fatherly grief, royal status, thwarted love, and frustrated passion meet with devastating effect. Handel’s masterful score absorbs us, with music of bewitching beauty and expressiveness, in the growing tension of the drama of contradictory demands. And as often with Handel, the oppressed and apparently despised women appear as the real heroes of the action.

The young company’s performance and recording of its debut opera, Eccles’ “Semele” with the Academy of Early Music, was placed on the 2021 finalist list for the Gramophone Award.

CHOC’s mission includes educating schoolchildren in Cambridgeshire, as well as developing an appreciation for Baroque opera across age groups and backgrounds. In keeping with this goal, “Tamerlano” will feature both advanced and young singers and instrumentalists, and will be performed in English.