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Excerpts of "From Hell to Antigone" ~ A Distillation of Handel's Admeto.

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Opera_Essentia_Antig_psychJeffrey Mandelbaum ~ countertenor, as Admeto
Nicole Besa ~ soprano, as Antigona
Kristin Renee Young ~ soprano, as Alceste
Francis Liu ~ violin
Serafim Smigelskiy ~ violoncello
Rebecca Pechefsky ~ harpsichord

Excerpts of “From Hell to Antigone”, Opera Essentia's new 70-minute Distillation of Handel's Admeto, from 1727. This steamy love triangle saga unfolds in bittersweet beauty, one ravishing aria after another. Betrayal, longing, jealousy, and bewilderment just scratch the surface. A curse reversed, a rejection amended, but then she's back from the dead... how can a heart survive it all??

In distilling Handel’s 1727 opera Admeto down to its essential components, Opera Essentia cut many plot intricacies to highlight emotional expression. The texts which form “From Hell to Antigone” are pure poetry – the true meaning lies in the feeling that the music projects. Baroque opera is full of repetition, both textual and musical, so the same words and notes convey various intentions as a moment develops. This stylized language allows a character space & time to explore an archetypal journey, deepening the passions via melodic/rhythmic variation and ornamentation.

Opera Essentia's mission is to curate Handel's neglected stage works into an accessible form and present them for free in neighborhood communities for all to enjoy. Distilled into one act, and performed outdoors by a diverse company of world-class musicians, Handel’s highly expressive writing for the human voice perfectly conveys character and emotion. Employing visceral gut-string instruments, we weave arias into an intimate sound chronicle which all can enjoy.

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1:15–2:00 pm
All concerts are free; no tickets or reservations are necessary.

In person at St. Malachy's Church, 239 West 49th Street, Manhattan

Live stream details: You can watch it on your computer in any of two places by clicking on the name you wish: our website or YouTube.

Midtown Concerts sponsors lunchtime performances of music of the 18th century and earlier. Ensembles are chosen by a panel of early music specialists from the metropolitan area.

Time: Thursdays, 1:15–2:00 pm
All concerts are free; no tickets or reservations are necessary.

Concerts are in person at St. Malachy's Church, 239 West 49th Street, Manhattan, AND live streamed.