G. F. Handel: Athalia

Music composed by G. F. Handel. Libretto by Samuel Humphreys, after
Athalie by Jean Racine (1691).

First performance: Oxford 1733

athalia-killing-royal-child.gifAthalia Killing the Royal Children [Source: sang sabda]

Principal Performers:
Athalia, Baalite Queen of Judah and Daughter of Jezebel Soprano
Josabeth, Wife of Joad Soprano
Joas, King of Judah Boy Soprano
Joad, High Priest Alto
Mathan, Priest of Baal, formerly a Jewish Priest Tenor
Abner, Captain of the Jewish Forces Bass

From Second Kings 11 (KJV):

1And when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was
dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal. 2But Jehosheba,
the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah,
and stole him from among the king’s sons which were slain; and they hid
him, even him and his nurse, in the bedchamber from Athaliah, so that he was
not slain. 3And he was with her hid in the house of the LORD six
years. And Athaliah did reign over the land.

4And the seventh year Jehoiada sent and fetched the rulers over
hundreds, with the captains and the guard, and brought them to him into the
house of the LORD, and made a covenant with them, and took an oath of them in
the house of the LORD, and shewed them the king’s son. 5And he
commanded them, saying, This is the thing that ye shall do; A third part of you
that enter in on the sabbath shall even be keepers of the watch of the
king’s house; 6And a third part shall be at the gate of Sur;
and a third part at the gate behind the guard: so shall ye keep the watch of
the house, that it be not broken down. 7And two parts of all you
that go forth on the sabbath, even they shall keep the watch of the house of
the LORD about the king. 8And ye shall compass the king round about,
every man with his weapons in his hand: and he that cometh within the ranges,
let him be slain: and be ye with the king as he goeth out and as he cometh

9And the captains over the hundreds did according to all things
that Jehoiada the priest commanded: and they took every man his men that were
to come in on the sabbath, with them that should go out on the sabbath, and
came to Jehoiada the priest. 10And to the captains over hundreds did
the priest give king David’s spears and shields, that were in the temple
of the LORD. 11And the guard stood, every man with his weapons in
his hand, round about the king, from the right corner of the temple to the left
corner of the temple, along by the altar and the temple. 12And he
brought forth the king’s son, and put the crown upon him, and gave him
the testimony; and they made him king, and anointed him; and they clapped their
hands, and said, God save the king.

13And when Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the
people, she came to the people into the temple of the LORD. 14And
when she looked, behold, the king stood by a pillar, as the manner was, and the
princes and the trumpeters by the king, and all the people of the land
rejoiced, and blew with trumpets: and Athaliah rent her clothes, and cried,
Treason, Treason. 15But Jehoiada the priest commanded the captains
of the hundreds, the officers of the host, and said unto them, Have her forth
without the ranges: and him that followeth her kill with the sword. For the
priest had said, Let her not be slain in the house of the LORD.
16And they laid hands on her; and she went by the way by the which
the horses came into the king’s house: and there was she slain.

here for the complete libretto

image_description=Death of Athaliah. Engraving by Gustave DorÈ (1832-1883)
first_audio_name=G. F. Handel: Athalia
product_title=G. F. Handel: Athalia
product_by=Athalia: Simone Kermes; Josabeth: Sarah Fox: Joas: Johannette Zomer: Joad: Iestyn Davies: Mathan: James Gilchrist; Abner: Neal Davies. Balthasar-Neumann-Chor. Concerto Kˆln. Director: Ivor Bolton. Live performance, 24 May 2009, Kˆlner Philharmonie.
product_id=Above: Death of Athaliah. Engraving by Gustave DorÈ (1832-1883)