More play than opera, more pantomime than drama, the five act King Arthur, by John Dryden and Henry Purcell, first performed in London in 1691, has increased in popularity since being revived by William Christie in 1995. The principals recite their parts to (an originally subordinate) musical accompaniment rather than singing them, a genre sometimes known as semi-opera. The plot, which takes place in the fifth century, is based on battles between saxons and britons, and centres on Arthur's attempts to recover his fiancée, blind Cornish princess Emmeline, who has been abducted by Oswald of Kent.
Two performances of King Arthur take place this week in South West London, UK: at Digby Stuart Chapel, Roehampton University (29 May) and Barnes Methodist Church, Station Road, Barnes (31 May 2007), both beginning at 7.30pm. The Roehampton University Chamber Singers and Orchestra are conducted by Leslie Anne Lewis, and the production is directed by Trevor Allan Davies. Recommended donation at the door, GBP 5.00, GBP 2.00 (students). Seating available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Posted: 27 May 2007
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