The Sheldonian Theatre was opened in 1669, 350 years ago, and the OBC celebrates this anniversary with one of the greatest pieces premiered there, Handel's oratorio Athalia. Not only is this the only oratorio conducted by Handel in Oxford, but the Sheldonian is almost certainly the only surviving building where we know he performed any of his oratorios. Athalia itself tells the dramatic tale of the downfall of the evil usurper Athalia, Queen of Judah, daughter of Jezebel and worshipper of Baal, with appropriately colourful and exciting music for soloists and chorus alike.
The choir will be joined by Florilegium - one of the country's most outstanding period instrument ensembles - and a stellar cast of soloists: Elin Manahan Thomas Soprano; Ali Ponsford-Hill Soprano; Simon Ponsford Countertenor; James Gilchrist Tenor; Nicholas Morton Bass.
The evening begins with a free pre-concert talk in the Sheldonian given by Anthony Geraghty, Professor of the History of Art at the University of York and author of 'The Sheldonian Theatre: Architecture and Learning in Seventeenth-Century Oxford'.
Duration: Approximately 2 hours including one interval of 20 minutes