FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 30, 2022

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Philharmonia brings its Bay Area season to a dramatic close in a brand new production of Handel’s opera Radamisto at Stanford Live’s Bing Concert Hall with a new staging by French director Christophe Gayral; Music Director Richard Egarr leads the Orchestra in PBO’s first ever performance of the opera—April 20-24.

Metropolitan Opera star Iestyn Davies performs the title role alongside an unparalleled cast featuring Met Opera star soprano Liv Redpath, soprano Ellie Laugharne, mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta, bass-baritone Aubrey Allicock, and baritone Morgan Pearse.

SAN FRANCISCO—Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale (PBO) brings its 2021/22 season to a full-bodied crescendo with Handel’s Radamisto, with a new staging by French director Christophe Gayral at Stanford’s Bing Concert Hall. This marks two firsts: the first time PBO has ever presented Radamisto and the first ever fully-staged historical opera at Bing.

Internationally acclaimed countertenor Iestyn Davies, who just finished a successful run of Rodelinda at the Metropolitan Opera this week (and also of Farinelli fame on Broadway) takes on the title role of Radamisto. On the heels of a run of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor with Deutsche Oper Berlin, star soprano Liv Redpath joins the cast as Radamisto’s wife Zenobia. Bass-baritone Aubrey Allicock returns to the role of the tyrant Tiridate, having performed this role with Juilliard Opera and Juilliard415 at Lincoln Center in 2013. British soprano Ellie Laugharne plays his faithful wife Polissena, pursued by baritone Morgan Pearse as Farasmane. Rounding out this powerhouse of a cast is mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta as Tigrane.

This treasure trove of artists includes five Philharmonia debuts. Music Director Richard Egarr will lead the production from the harpsichord, conducting his first opera with Philharmonia.

Set and costume designer George Souglides and lighting designer Peter van Praet take advantage of the unique opportunities Bing Concert Hall affords with its intimate and immersive setting, displaying the cast, set and Orchestra in full view. The Hall’s system of movable semicircular tiers on its stage—usually utilized to raise rows of the Orchestra during concert performances—act in this production as part of the set, moving positions from one scene to the next. The back of the stage, normally occupied by the Chorale in standard PBO performances, is lowered and used as a makeshift “pit” while still allowing the Orchestra to be part of the action and maintain a constant presence on stage. Creating various settings in the Hall while lacking a traditional proscenium is accomplished in part by van Praet’s brilliant lighting effects, further amplifying this unique, intimate theatrical experience.

The wild story of Radamisto is loosely based on Tacitus’s Annals of Imperial Rome. Farasmane, King of Thrace, has two children. His son Radamisto is married to Zenobia. His daughter Polissena is married to Tiridate, King of Armenia. In Radamisto’s absence on campaign, Tiridate has captured and imprisoned his father-in-law Farasmane; he has also become obsessed with Zenobia…To further complicate these convoluted relationships—Tiridate has an ally, Tigrane, who just happens to have a thing for Polissena.

Handel first premiered the work in 1720, and later revised it in 1728—the latter of which will be seen in PBO’s season-ending spectacle.

Listing information:

Richard Egarr, conductor
Iestyn Davies, countertenor (Radamisto-Senesino)
Liv Redpath, soprano (Zenobia-Bordoni)
Aubrey Allicock, bass-baritone (Tiridate-Boschi)
Ellie Laugharne, soprano (Polissena-Cuzzoni)
Morgan Pearse, baritone (Farasmane)
Wallis Giunta, mezzo-soprano (Tigrane)
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra

Christophe Gayral, stage director
George Souglides, set and costume designer
Peter van Praet, lighting designer

Program:
HANDEL Radamisto (1728 version)

Wednesday, April 20, 7:30 PM | Bing Concert Hall, Stanford
Friday, April 22, 7:30 PM | Bing Concert Hall, Stanford
Saturday, April 23, 7:30 PM | Bing Concert Hall, Stanford
Sunday, April 24, 2:30 PM | Bing Concert Hall, Stanford

Tickets: $32-130

Click here for PBO biography.

Click here for press images of Richard and the Orchestra.

Click here for guest artist materials.