Scenes from a Life

Conductor: Luke Mitchell
Director: Michael Burden

New College Ante-Chapel
28 & 29 February 2024

Tickets from:

Matilda Bates (Saxon Sorceress)
Dara Collins (Saxon 2)
Jessie Edgar (Venus, Honour)
Alaw Grug Evans (Cupid, 2nd Syren)
Sebastian Evans (Sylvan 1)
Austin Haynes (The Cold Genius)
Francesca German (Woden’s Hall Saxon, Nymph 3)
Ben Gilchrist (King Arthur, Ecole, Berger, Pan, Man 4)
Ischia Gooda (Philidel, Nereid, 1st Syren)
Jemima Kinley (Nymph 1)
Raphaël Maurin (Saxon 1, Sylvan 3, Man 3)
Matt Pope (Saxon 3, Sylvan 2, Comus)
Jess Norton Raybould (Nymph 2, Man 2)

King Arthur is Henry Purcell’s most complicated ‘dramatick opera’ and contains some of his most recognisable music. The text is by John Dryden, and the plot is based on the battle between the Britons and the Saxons; characters include King Arthur, Merlin, Cupid, and Venus, with the action centering on the recovery by Arthur of his fiancé Princess Emmeline from the clutches of his enemy, the Saxon King Oswald. The show is what Judith Milhous calls a ‘multi-media spectacular.’ In our version, the concentration is on the musical interludes, and the score includes the best-known music: the ‘Frost Scene’ sung by the Cold Genius, the hymn ‘Fairest Isle’ performed by Venus, and ‘Harvest Home’, the rollicking drinking song sung by peasants.