Concert archive

Sunday 20th Jan. 2013 - Celebration of Handel

What is it about Norwich Baroque and snow?! Again we hit snow in a big way... disruption to rehearsals and concert... plus suddenly un-insured rehearsal venue, infected wild cat bites, winter vomitting bug, ...oh, and a soloist with laryngitis! However, Michael Chance, a true professional, offered us a series of 3 mini-talks about opera in Handel's day versus today and the rivalries which existed then and now.
So in the end it was a great afternoon.
Short of Hibernation next year from Oct-April we will just have to hope we avoid the snow in the future!
Sunday 20th January 2.30m
St Peter Mancroft

Soloist - Michael Chance, countertenor / speaker
Director - Jim O'Toole

Concerto Grosso Op.6 no.5 in D major
Interlude 1 - Then and Now - Michael Chance
Concerto Grosso Op.6 no.3 in E minor


Interlude 2 – “The Rival Queens” - Michael Chance
Concerto Grosso Op. 6 no.11 in A major
Interlude 3 - “Mullier Taceat in Ecclesia” - Michael Chance
Chaconne -"Don't you worry 'bout a chaconne" - Jim O'Toole

The Chaconne was so appropriate after a week of havoc and was something we had wanted to play at some point...this was the perfect opportunity!

REVIEW - Easter Daily Press
Norwich Baroque

It would take rather more than the present weather to throw NB's equilibrium.
And despite that, plus the loss of the singing voice of patron and countertenor soloist Michael Chance, interrupted rehearsals and consequent last minute truncated programme on Sunday afternoon, they still produced their usual free-flowing and consistent performance.

The music might be claimed as British with the composer becoming naturalised in 1727 - in truth of course more influenced by Italy and Germany - and devoted to a trio of Handel Concerti Grossi composed during a dozen years later, in which the opening no.5 offered a measured and stately opening and graceful minuet, while no.3 in a minor key contrasted with weightier body.

In the second half, no.11 had a more emphatic opening with delicate concertante sections and a joyful ending - for both the ensemble and audience.

In between, Michael Chance used his speaking voice to give background to some of the 40 Handel Operas - back and front stage there were apparently similar rivalries, upsets, arguments and disputes as one reads of in the contemporary operatic world.

From a personal point of view, Michael Chance opined that arguably the first "are you free?" call is (one of the) most exciting times in opera.

Finally a short Chaconne in Baroque style by NB director James O'Toole based on 1970s Motown brought to an end an interesting and warming (at least internally) afternoon before a large and loyal audience.

Michael Drake