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University of Kent,
This Glyndebourne premiere of Handel’s Saul marks the company debut of the brilliant and provocative Australian opera and theatre director Barrie Kosky. He delves deep into this score of heart-breaking beauty and intensity to create an associative dreamscape, a Baroque nightmare world in which this mythic tale of a Lear-like mad king and his crumbling family unfolds.
Freely adapted from the Biblical First Book of Samuel, Saul centres on the first King of Israel’s complicated relationship with his eventual successor, David, which evolves from admiration to envy and hatred and finally leads to Saul’s tragic demise. The drama is heightened by David’s friendship with Saul’s son Jonathan, who Saul tries to enlist to destroy David. The characterisations of Saul and David are among Handel’s most powerful and vivid, making Saul , in the words of Handel scholar Winton Dean, ‘one of the supreme masterpieces of dramatic art, comparable with the Oresteia and King Lear’.
The first of Handel’s great English oratorios, Saul melds operatic-style, psychologically probing arias with mighty choruses. Handel conceived it on a grand scale, with an unusually large orchestra for the time and novel instrumental colours including a carillon, a solo harp, large timpani, extra woodwinds, trombones (rarely found in orchestras at that time), and a virtuosic organ part which he wrote for himself.
Ivor Bolton leads the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment with a cast of distinguished Handelians and Glyndebourne favourites including the commanding Christopher Purves in the title role, last season’s virtuosic Rinaldo, Iestyn Davies and acclaimed soprano Lucy Crowe, as well as the elegant young American tenor Paul Appleby, making his UK debut.
Sung in English with supertitles
|Sun 13 Nov 2016||14:00|
TR 140599 51.29866 1.06925
By car: Situated on the campus of the University of Kent. Follow the A2/M2 towards Dover and turn off onto the A28 towards Canterbury. Continue up to a large roundabout and follow the signs to 'The University'. When on the University's campus, follow the signs to the Gulbenkian Theatre. A map is available to download from their website.
By train: The closest BR train station is Canterbury West. From there, buses are available by Westgate to take you onto the University's campus. From the University drop off point, follow the signs towards the library and the Cornwallis buildings and on to the theatre.
By bus: A regular bus service operates from Canterbury City Centre to the University. For details telephone Travel Line on 0871 200 2233. Unibuse 08702 433 711 www.stagecoachbus.com/eastkent
Free parking is available to Gulbenkian customers after 5pm on weekdays and all day at weekends in any University car park.
: 2 miles from Canterbury West station