Handel's Alcina

Named one of the top 10 classical events of 2014, With Joyce DiDonato in the title role, The English Concert's hallmark series for New York's Carnegie Hall returned in the 2014/15 season with Handel's Alcina.


The English Concert
Harry Bicket director/harpsichord
Joyce DiDonato Alcina
Alice Coote Ruggiero
Anna Christy Morgana
Christine Rice Bradamante
Ben Johnson Oronte
Wojtek Gierlach Melisso
Anna Devin Oberto

Catch a glimpse of our Madrid performance and an interview with Artistic Director Harry Bicket in this short documentary created for Spanish television:


ALCINA 2014 New York Times 10 Best Classical Events of 2014!

"The English Concert, the acclaimed period instrument ensemble, with Harry Bicket conducting, presented an elegant, dramatically riveting concert performance at Carnegie Hall, with a splendid cast headed by the superb mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato in the title role." - New York Times, 2014

"Done right, however, it can be transcendent – the purest and most essential dramatic reading of a score. And it was so when Joyce DiDonato joined forces with the English Concert to bring a super-starry performance of Handel’s great(est) opera to the Barbican." - The Arts Desk, 2014

"The English Concert’s accompaniment was exceptionally refined, stylish, and, given the lush vocal writing, effectively understated. The orchestra produced multiple colors, from the pickled-brine of the double-reeds, to the hollow silver of the recorders and the warm silk of the strings. Principal cellist Joseph Crouch was a star." - New York Classical Review, 2014

"Mr. Bicket, leading the ensemble from the harpsichord, drew a lithe, detailed and richly expressive account of this great score from the first-rate players. The ovations were enormous. The audience seemed not just excited but also grateful." - The New York Times, 2014

"Everyone in the place jumped to their feet to shout “Brava!” - New York Observer, 2014

"The result was almost-dizzying virtuosity from top to bottom, including the conductor on the keyboard and the many solos of lead violinist Nadja Zwiener." - Broadway World, 2014

"The cultivated playing of The English Concert - under the animated direction of Harry Bicket - created an original sound well-suited for the four hour magic realm of Alcina, with special thanks to Joyce DiDonato." - Die Presse (Vienna), 2014

"Elegantly supported by The English Concert and led from the harpsichord by Harry Bicket, the starry cast could scarcely be bettered, gorging us with dish after dish of superb musical cuisine." - The Telegraph, 2014

5* review for Alcina: 'Altogether an astonishing evening' - Whats On Stage, 2014

"Bicket and the English Concert gave a sparking account of the overture, brisk but not too rushed with a nice crispness." - Opera Today, 2014

"During all of this, DiDonato and co. were steadily supported by The English Concert, led from the harpsichord by Harry Bicket. Although the small orchestra (only 22 players, including Bickett) tended to take their lead from the singers, they set the atmosphere perfectly for each aria, and the playing itself was spot-on. The clarity of the woodwind in particular was especially noticeable, and the strings never sounded a single sour note." - Music OMH, 2014

"There was real magic to this performance of Handel's supernatural opera"  - Artsdesk, 2014

"The special effects in The English Concert's concert performance, led from the keyboard by Harry Bicket, were purely musical: a sequence of dazzling arias, some with delicious obbligato solos for cello (Joseph Crouch) or violin (Nadja Zwiener); others tinted with the rosy blush of treble recorders; one splattered with the adolescent whoop of natural horns" - The Times, 2014