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Seminar 7:
Handel's Theodora

2009 marks the 250th anniversary of the death of the composer George Frederic Handel. Handel was a prodigious composer in all musical forms. However, we remember him today mainly for his operas and oratorios, which counted together include more than seventy works. The oratorio Theodora was Handel's penultimate dramatic oratorio, composed in the summer of 1749, when the composer was 64 years old. The work is unusual for Handel in that it is the only one of his religious dramas in which the libretto is not drawn from the Bible or Apocrypha, and it is his only oratorio set in Christian times. The work was a conspicuous failure in its first round of performances, and for its only revival Handel made drastic cuts to the score. Despite its unfortunate entry into the world, it is now clear that Theodora is one of Handel's greatest and most original scores.

Conductor, Andrew Raiskums, who has performed many of Handel's works and who has a special interest in this composer, offers a re-appraisal of Theodora: the strength and uniqueness of the libretto, the power and dramatic sweep of the work and above all, Handel's inspired music, in which one ravishing aria follows another.

Andrew will be using both recordings and filmed performance extracts of the work to illustrate his talk.

Date Tuesday 9 June
Time 7.30 – 9.30 pm
Venue St Peter's, Eastern Hill
Cost $15 (concession: $12)
Conductor Andrew Raiskums
Andrew is the founder and conductor of Gloriana, one of Melbourne's foremost chamber choirs. He is an accompanist, musical coach, music teacher at Melbourne Girls' Grammar School, and Assistant Director of Music at St Peter's.

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