Don Quixote

Tilting at windmills and rescuing phoney princesses, such are the exploits of the laughable knight-errant Don Quixote, his loyal side-kick Sancho Panza and his faithful steed Rosinante.

The English Concert
Harry Bicket director/harpsichord
Anna Devin soprano
Matthew Brook bass
Danann McAcleer narrator

Purcell Don Quixote Suite, including excerpts from The Married Beau and The Comical History of Don Quixote
Telemann Don Quixote Suite

Tilting at windmills and rescuing phoney princesses, such are the exploits of the laughable knight-errant Don Quixote, his loyal side-kick Sancho Panza and his faithful steed Rosinante. The masterpiece that is Miguel Cervantes’ 1605 novel has inspired many musical interpretations in the last 400 years, including an early opera by Mendelssohn and a tone poem by Richard Strauss. On the 400th anniversary of Cervantes’ death, The English Concert recount the adventures of Don Quixote through the music of Purcell and Telemann, interspersed with songs and texts from other contemporary productions.

This concert will be approximately 2 hours in duration, including an interval.
Tickets £15-£36


What the critics had to say:

The little gem of the evening, however, came in the second half. Georg Philipp Telemann wrote his orchestra suite, Le Burlesque de Quichotte towards the end of his life – perhaps, as musical fashions changed around him, the octogenarian composer saw something of the Man from La Mancha in himself.

Scored only for strings (led by the fiery playing of Nadja Zwiener), the piece gives us – hurrah – tilting at windmills, Sancho Panza on his donkey, and sighing, deluded dreams of the beautiful Dulcinée. Despite the unchanging key, the pleasure of the work is its textural variety: it’s wonderfully imaginative writing.

To set the scene, the actor Danann McAleer contributed some sensitive, un-hammy readings from the novel, and you’d have to be Panza’s dumb beast of burden not to have lapped it up. – The Times, 2016

“No doubt about it, though, Bicket’s team is not just bright but brilliant, rocking The Married Beau’s hornpipes and Jigg with phenomenal bass lines and palpable enjoyment from the players. The final “Hornpipe on a Ground” could have revolved at least four times more in that spirit of sheer delight.” – The Arts Desk, 2016

Soloists & Players
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Our Musicians

Renowned as an opera and concert conductor, Harry Bicket is especially noted for his interpretation of baroque and classical repertoire and became Artistic Director of The English Concert in 2007. He was recently appointed Chief Conductor of Santa Fe Opera and took up the post in October 2013.Plans for the 14/15 season include guest conducting with Oslo Philharmonic, Orchestra of St Luke's, Hong Kong...

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Soloist

Widely acknowledged as one of today’s brightest young sopranos for her vocal versatility and strong stage presence, Anna Devin has established an international career since graduating from the Royal Opera House’s Jette Parker Young Artist programme in 2012.

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Soloist

"Matthew Brook, who turns anything he sings to gold" Stephen Pritchard, The Guardian

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Soloist

Recently graduating from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Danann McAleer had already forged a strong career in theatre and film before deciding to formally train. Some highlights in film and television include his role as Theo in Watch Over Me, an action-thriller which won several awards for its fight sequences; his portrayal (in German) of a young Adolf Hitler in Channel 5’s Seven Days That...

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Season Highlights
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Wigmore Hall, London

From Haydn’s first minor key symphony and the intensity of CPE Bach, to Mozart’s imaginative and playful Piano Concerto No. 13, this programme embodies the inventive spirit of the classical masters.

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Barbican, London

Following the successes of Radamisto, Theodora, Alcina, Hercules and Orlando, The English Concert continues their Handel opera-in-concert series with Rinaldo.

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Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

‘…refreshingly direct and impactful, with The English Concert, nestled either side of the stage, and its director Harry Bicket lending classy baroque accompaniment. Morris cleverly uses the 18th‐century auditorium’s intimacy and dry acoustic to draw us in; I felt an active part of the events unfolding in front, above and around me. Perhaps the cheers and whoops at the end suggested others...

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Saffron Hall, Saffron Walden

Quick on the heels of our Shakespeare celebration in East Asia last season, we return with a summer tour of South Korea with the one of the world’s greatest countertenors Andreas Scholl, featuring celebratory music from two of England’s finest exports, Purcell and Handel.

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