Opera Scotland

The Sixteen

Henry Purcell's King Arthur

Posted 13 Aug 2012

Soprano Sophie Bevan, tenor Robert Murray and bass-baritone Jonathan Lemalu join Harry Christopher and the Sixteen in Purcell's King Arthur, in this their fourth consecutive appearance at the Edinburgh International Festival. The Sixteen bring expertise in early English music to bear on what was created as a spectacular Restoration drama.  With a libretto by poet laureate John Dryden, the piece recounts not the legends of Camelot but the raging battles between King Arthur's god-fearing Britons and the heathen Saxons to save Arthur's intended, the blind Princess Emmeline of Cornwall.  A masterpiece of 17th-century patriotism, it contains some of Henry Purcell's most lyrical and powerful music, with rousing martial episodes, tender arias, including 'Fairest Isle', and a glorious final vision of a united Britain.   Learn more about the piece here, then come back and book tickets through the box office here.  Over forty years ago, there was an interesting production at the Lyceum - read about it here.


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