HGO To Present Handel’s ‘Partenope’

By Francisco Salazar

HGO, North London’s leading opera company, will perform Handel’s “Partenope.”

The production for this opera will be directed by Ashley Pearson, who stated in a press release, “The great power of Handel’s opera lies in his ability to convey through the music the depth of feeling of each of his characters. Every aria is grounded in feelings which are familiar to us all.”

Meanwhile, music director Bertie Baigent said, “Composed in 1730, it has the structure of an opera seria – serious as opposed to comic opera – but ‘Partenope’s’ form seems in many ways at odds with its eccentric content: indeed the libretto was deemed frivolous and vulgar when Handel initially suggested it as a possible opera subject in 1726. Its varied musical numbers are part of its triumph. The arias in ‘Partenope’ are relatively short, there are several ensembles for more than one singer, and many wonderfully varied and evocative sequences.”

Pearson is a London-based writer and director who was Associate Director of the 2017 Opera Works program at the English National Opera and was the assistant director on “Macbeth” and observing director on “Les Vêpres Siciliennes” at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Baigent was a finalist in the 2018 Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition and the music director of Waterperry Opera Festival and assistant conductor to the Colorado Symphony in Denver. He has also worked with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the WDR-Sinfonieorchester.

Performances run from May 17 to 26 at Jacksons Lane Theatre in Highgate.