Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Helene Zindarsian, soprano
Clifton Massey, countertenor
Jean-Paul Jones, countertenor
Jonathan Smucker, tenor
Brian Thorsett, tenor
Jeffrey Fields, baritone
John Bischoff, bass-baritone
Philharmonia Chorale, Bruce Lamott, director
Purcell’s first major success in the theater, Dioclesian, is also a Philharmonia Baroque premiere. This “tragicomic semi-opera,” (the baroque equivalent of a Broadway musical) about a common soldier’s ascent to the Roman imperial throne, is ostensibly a tale of struggle and political power, but it is truly a story about the universal conflict between love and duty.
Perhaps best known for his opera Dido and Aeneas, Henry Purcell incorporated stylistic elements from French and Italian to create a uniquely English form of Baroque music. With a flair for the dramatic, he mixed song, dance and theatre to sensational effect and he was the only English composer of his time to attain regard equal to that of his counterparts on the European continent. McGegan and Philharmonia Baroque infuse the historically informed performance with vitality and musicality.
See images of an artists’ rendering of the Masque from Act V: http://julieandfransmuller.nl/Dioclesianmasque_eng.html
PURCELL Dioclesian, Z. 627
Dioclesian Program Notes by J.J.G.Muller-van Santen
Prelude Discussion at 7:15 pm* with John Prescott: “The Flowering of English Music Drama”
(*6:45 pm on Sunday, October 7)