Hercules in Brooklyn ó Two Reviews

Hercules’ Last Travail: Domestic Spat
By ANTHONY TOMMASINI [NY Times, 16 February 2006]
Audiences were baffled when Handel’s “Hercules” was first presented in 1745 at the King’s Theater in London. The work wasn’t an opera, yet it didn’t seem to be an oratorio either, though it was performed in concert. It failed to catch on even after Handel’s death, despite being one of Handel’s most complex and penetrating scores.
Click here for remainder of article.

Ah, Those Greeks!
BY FRED KIRSHNIT [NY Sun, 16 February 2006]
Now, children, this is a little confusing, so please listen carefully. Near the end of his career, George Frederic Handel renounced the opera form, sensing that audiences were no longer intrigued by its fusion of classical stories and live dramatic action. He moved on, processing his creative impulses into the oratorio – essentially the same type of music, but without sets or costumes. In 1744, he had a change of heart, composing one of his strongest pieces, “Hercules,” as an opera. But practicalities caused him to mount the production not as a staged endeavor but as an oratorio; he conducted only five performances in London.
Click here for remainder of article.

image_description=Joyce DiDonato (Photo: Sheila Rock Photography)