Marguerite Krull, Calliope
American Classical Orchestra

Mar 19, 2014

American Classical Orchestra - Alceste - A Masque

Wednesday March 19, 2014

Concert starts at 8:00pm


Handel's Alceste - A Masque


A semi-staged performance of the master's late work


Also performed: Concerti a due Chori and the Utrecht Jubilate


Thomas Crawford, Conductor


7 PM Pre-Concert Lecture by musicologist Neal Zaslaw


Marguerite Krull – Calliope

Randall Bills – Hercules

Robert Balonek – Charon

Sarah Stanley, dancer – Alceste

Weaver Rhodes, dancer – Admetus

The American Classical Orchestra Chorus

Cynthia Edwards, Stage Director

John Heginbotham, Choreographer

Maile Okamura, Costumer


On Wednesday, March 19, 2014, the American Classical Orchestra presents ALCESTE - A Masque.

Never performed during Handel's lifetime, the composer's late-period masterpiece Alceste is rarely heard today. As the culminating event of HANDELFEST, the ACO has enlisted the talents of gifted choreographer John Heginbotham and veteran stage director Cynthia Edwards. The masque is brought to life by blending historically-informed musical performance with modern dance.


Although Alceste was not performed in Handel’s lifetime, the music reveals the composer at the height of his powers. Calliope’s aria Gentle Morpheus, son of night’ is regarded among the most beautiful songs ever composed by Handel. The Euripides tale is of Alceste’s self sacrifice to save her ailing husband King Admetus, and Hercules’ effort to return her from Hades. Ceremonial dances, grand brass fanfares, and lively choruses abound in this production.


The program also features Handel's double wind band work, the joyous Concerti a Due Cori, and the virtuosic choral showcase, Utrecht Jubilate, that was commissioned by the royal family for the signing of the Utrecht Peace Treaty in 1713.


ACO Music Director Thomas Crawford leads the American Classical Orchestra and the ACO chorus, with soloists Marguerite Krull (soprano), Randall Bills (tenor), and Robert Balonek (baritone).