The first great English oratorio
A poet of the human heart through music, Handel’s brilliance at examining human nature is in full flight with Athalia. He presents characters rich in thought and feeling, combined with some simply stunning choruses that will knock your socks off. Then there are heart-stopping moments when everything clears but for a few strings and a single voice. It’s just magic. In the sure hands of Cantillation – an ensemble of voices with the speed, agility and flexibility of a chamber orchestra – Athalia will be Pinchgut Opera at its very best.
The powerful plot comes alive in a hotbed of intrigue and devious characters. The murderous, idol-worshipping Queen Athalia is intent on eradicating the line of David. But one has escaped the slaughter: the child Joas has been raised in secret by Josabeth, the wife of the high priest Joad. Can Athalia succeed in her dreadful purpose that all heirs to the throne are to be destroyed?