Handel's Tamerlano: Buxton Festival

Returning to the Buxton Festival for a second residency, the orchestra opened their 2016/17 with a fully-staged production of Handel's pschological thriller Tamerlano. Captured by his mortal enemy Tamerlano, Bajazet and his daughter Asteria are imprisoned. Facing forced marrage and dishonour, Bajazet and Asteria are brought to the brink of destruction.


The English Concert
Laurence Cummings conductor/harpsichord

Rupert Enticknap Tamerlano, Emperor of the Tartars
Paul Nilon Bajazet, Sultan of the Turks
Owen Willetts Andronico, Greek Prince
Marie Lys Asteria, Bajazet’s daughter
Catherine Hopper Irene, Princess of Trebizond, betrothed to Tamerlano
Robert Davies Leone, friend of Andronico and Tamerlano

Francis Matthews director
Adrian Linford designer
Simon Corder lighting designer

Marie Lys (Asteria) and Paul Nilon (Bajazet) © Robert Workman


"…music-making of great refinement from the English Concert under Laurence Cummings." – The Times, 2016

"In the pit, Laurence Cummings draws mellifluous sounds from the English Concert." - The Guardian, 2016

"This was the first in a planned series of co-productions between the Buxton Festival and The English Concert. It will prove an astute move if the orchestra continues to sustain anything like the remarkable finesse it displayed in this Francis Matthews production…The English Concert stuck to the singers like limpets, and reflected their emotions. Handel has now been on the Buxton operatic menu 11 times since the turn of the century. With this new partnership, he has graduated from chef’s special to specialité de la maison. Musically speaking, anyway." – Opera Magazine, 2016

"Laurence Cummings’ English Concert produced a supple, golden sound that managed to combine constant drama with delicacy. Stylish playing and real impetus prevented the work from being ponderous and was the finishing touch to a production of Baroque excellence." – Bachtrack, 2016

"In the pit, Laurence Cummings and the English Concert brought style and drama to the music. Handel did not write for a lavish orchestra, but Cummings and the ensemble made the details of the scoring tell and in the relatively intimate confines of Buxton Opera House we were able to appreciate all the fine details." – Planet Hugill, 2016

"Musical values are equally high in Francis Matthews’s production of Handel’s Tamerlano. As Laurence Cummings and the English Concert dance, lilt and languish in the pit, the cast throw off Handel’s vocal fireworks with an ease that borders on nonchalance." – The Spectator, 2016