Portuguese tenor Fernando Guimarães’ skill as an actor brings a rare dramatic realism to Handel’s seldom heard, but glorious cantata “Look down, harmonious Saint”. Guimarães’ total command of the stage is underpinned by a formidable technique, and a searching, academic mind.
To hear the masterful Ode for St Cecilia’s Day in its entirety is to experience exactly what music meant to Handel. Taken from a text by the poet John Dryden, it celebrates music as the central force in the creation of the world. Argentine soprano Mariana Flores’ clear toned authority and sensual edge will take this ravishing showcase for soprano, tenor, orchestra and choir to new heights.
And finally, the distinct and contrasting sounds of these two very special singers are brought together in the love duet “Tra amplessi innocenti” (Only amid innocent embraces), from the cantata Cecilia, creating, for a few moments, a singular perfection.
Concert program can be found here.
Handel Sinfonia “Arrival of the Queen of Sheba” from Solomon HWV 67
Handel Cantata “Look down, harmonious Saint” HWV 124
Handel Ode For St Cecilia’s Day HWV 76
Handel Duet “Tra amplessi innocenti” from Cecilia, volgi un sguardo HWV 89
Mariana Flores (Argentina) soprano
Fernando Guimarães (Portugal) tenor
Australian Brandenburg Orchestra
Artistic Director and Conductor – Paul Dyer