This autumn Bampton Classical Opera will be giving performances of Handel’s Clori, Tirsi e Fileno, one of his most extended and loveliest cantatas, at venues in Sussex, Oxfordshire and Surrey. Also known by its opening words, Cor fedele, it is nothing less than a comic opera in miniature for just three characters. With luminous and sensuous orchestration and showing off the very best of Handel’s understanding of the voice, it is a gem of a work.
Julian Perkins, an acclaimed Handel specialist, conducts a period instrument ensemble and three exceptional young singers, Samantha Louis-Jean, Caroline Taylor and Emma Stannard, the winner of the Bampton Classical Opera Young Singers’ Competition 2017.
The royal and aristocratic courts in the early 17th century appear to have enjoyed an insatiable and surprising need for music based on the amorous intrigues of Arcadian shepherds. When George Frideric Handel moved to Italy in 1706, he found himself writing semi-mythological and pastoral cantatas by the score, several of which centre on the loves, often unrequited, of the nymph or shepherdess Clori. In Rome Handel nurtured the most illustrious patronage and it was for the extravagant Marquess Francesco Ruspoli that he composed this cantata in 1707. Clori, lovely but fickle, strings along two adoring shepherds, Tirsi and Fileno. She really doesn’t know which way to turn! Promises are made, hearts are broken – until in the end the disillusioned youths decide that enough is enough.
Bampton Classical Opera, ‘Britain’s unchallenged champion of eighteenth-century opera’ (Opera Now) is delighted to be staging this masterpiece at three new venues, two of them al fresco and the third a restored traditional barn, all of them fitting for this engaging story of pastoral pleasure and pain.
Clori – Samantha Louis-Jean (soprano)
Tirsi – Caroline Taylor (soprano)
Fileno – Emma Stannard (mezzo-soprano)
The performance at Old Walland, a house on the edge of Wadhurst with breathtaking views over the East Sussex countryside, will take place indoors in a traditional Sussex threshing barn which has been newly restored as an intimate performance space. This will be the inaugural performance in this enchanting venue. The performance starts at 7pm and pre-performance picnics are welcome.
Tickets are £60, to include a donation of £25 towards the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal and an invitation to a pre-performance champagne reception. Booking via Bampton website:
Weald Manor, on the south-western edge of Bampton, is a noble 17th-18th century manor, with extensive grounds to enjoy. The performance will be in the garden (please bring garden chairs), or in the Studio if wet. Parking is available in the grounds and nearby streets. The performance starts at 3pm and the garden will be open for picnics from lunchtime.
Tickets are £35, to include a pre-performance welcome drink, and are available via the Bampton website:
Summer at Breinton, (Woking), is an established concert series in a WG Tarrant family home set in a four acre garden: this open-air performance will be the 100th at the venue. The performance starts at 4pm – please bring garden chairs.
Tickets are £35, to include a pre-performance gala reception. Booking is through the Breinton website:
By Telephone: 01993 851142