Welcome to the 2016-17 season with The English Concert. A season that will take us all over the globe, from the Far East, via Europe to North America.

A season that is also distinctly operatic in nature. As I am sure you have noticed, we have been particularly successful in the operatic form in recent years and our annual Handel tour to North America and New York’s Carnegie Hall continues with Joyce DiDonato singing the title role in Handel’s Ariodante. No doubt many of you will remember her unforgettable i in 2014.

This summer’s Tamerlano, in partnership with Buxton Opera Festival, will be another operatic highlight following on from the gorgeous and moving candle-lit performance of Dido and Aeneas we gave there last year.

I am thrilled that some of the highlights of our previous season are revived further afield. Lausanne Opera plays host to our Dido and Aeneas in October, whilst Iestyn Davies reprises his exceptional role in Handel’s Orlando this November for a special performance in Italy.

Finally there is Messiah. Strictly speaking not an opera, but in the hands of Artistic Director Tom Morris its dramatic proportions are brought to the fore on the stage of the Bristol Old Vic. This thought-provoking work is not to be missed, so please do try to come and join us in the week leading up to Easter 2017.

I am delighted with the growing number of partnerships which make our musical offering so much more varied. Not only do we return to our more familiar homes of the Wigmore Hall, Barbican, Spitalfields Festival and Buxton Opera Festival, but we revisit the Bristol Old Vic, Saffron Walden and Barber Institute in Birmingham. New friends, too, appear this season as we travel further afield to Stamford, Malvern Theatres and Taunton.

I look forward to seeing you at our events this season.

Gijs Elsen
Chief Executive

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