Cambridge Handel Opera Company Announces Staging of Handel’s ‘Tamerlano’

By Chris Ruel
Photo credit: Luke Koch de Gooreynd

Cambridge Handel Opera Company (CHOC) has announced its spring 2022 staging of Handel’s “Tamerlano.” Scheduled to run April 5-9 at The Leys Cambridge, the production, directed by Dionysios Kyropoulos, features stagecraft practices from Handel’s era and the use of period instruments.

The announced cast includes James Laing as Tamerlano, Christopher Turner as Bajazet, Thalie Knights as Andronico, Leila Zanette as Irene, Jolyon Loy as Leone, and Caroline Taylor as Asteria. Artistic Director Julian Perkins will conduct Sounds Baroque.

Perkins said in the company’s press statement that “Tamerlano’ probes dilemmas of loyalty, identity, family and yearning. Paternal heartache, royal status, thwarted love and frustrated passion collide to devastating effect. Handel’s masterly score absorbs us, with music of spellbinding beauty and expressiveness, in the drama’s tightening tension of conflicting demands. And as so often in Handel, the oppressed and seemingly slighted women emerge as the true heroes of the action.”

The young company’s performance and recording of its first opera, Eccles’ “Semele” with the Academy of Ancient Music, has been placed on the 2021 shortlist for the Gramophone Award.

CHOC’s mission includes educational outreach to Cambridgeshire schoolchildren, as well as the development of an appreciation for baroque opera across age groups and backgrounds. In keeping with that aim, “Tamerlano” will feature both advanced and young singers and instrumentalists, and will be performed in English.