13.08.2016 Music

Capella Cracoviensis performs Handel’s ‘Belshazzar’

Ottavio DANTONE and his brilliant Italian orchestra Accademia Bizantina have invited Polish singers from the choir CAPELLA CRACOVIENSIS to add a touch of magic to one of George Frederick HANDEL’s final masterpieces, the oratorio ‘Belshazzar’ HWV 61, which had its premiere in March in Krakow, closing the Misteria Paschalia festival. The MAFestival, the great musical event dedicated to ancient music which is held in Bruges, will also present the piece on the closing night of its 2016 edition, entitled In Praise of Folly.

>>> practical information

Ottavio Dantone – direction
Orchestre – Accademia Bizantina
Capella Cracoviensis – choir
Rupert Charlesworth – tenore
Rosemary Joshua – soprano
Delphine Galou – alt
Filippo Mineccia – counter tenor
Andreas Wolf – bass

The oratorio was written in 1744 by HANDEL, who adapted it from a libretto by Charles JENNENS. The latter was inspired by the fall of Belshazzar’s Babylon to the Persian army, led by Prince Cyrus. The episode, which is related in the book of Daniel (Old Testament), is interspersed with elements from other books, such as the Prophecies of Jeremiah and Isaiah or the works of Xenophon. He highlights the fragility of empires and consequently of all human enterprise. 

>>> Concertgebouw, (‘t Zand 34, 8000 Brugge), concertzaal – see map
>>> 13 August 2016 – 20:00 (end foreseen at 22:45)
At 18:30, Katherina Lindekens will have a talk with Ottavio Dantone (in the Kamermuziekzaal of the Concertgebouw)
>>> 42 | 34 | 26 | 18 (online box office)

+++ Find out more about this concert on the site of the festival

Coproduced by Bruges’ Concertgebouw, with the support of the Polish Institute in Brussels

The choir CAPELLA CRACOVIENSIS is an internationally-renowned ensemble which specialises in ancient music and works with a large number of first-rate artists, such as Fabio Biondi, Marc Minkowski, Le Poème Harmonique or the ensemble La Venexiana, led by Claudio Cavina. The virtuosity of the singers led to two discs being produced by the prestigious French record label Alpha | Outhere Music: the Te Deum by Charpentier and Lully (Alpha 952) and the complete collection of motets by Johann Sebastian Bach (Alpha 199). In 1992, the choir was awarded two important prizes: the Diapason d’Or and the Grand Prix du Disque de l’Academie Charles Gros for his recording of the works of Darius Milhaud (6 chamber symphonies and Three Minute Operas). Jan Tomasz ADAMUS has been the choirmaster and artistic director of Capella Cracoviensis since 2008.

Set up in 1983 in Ravenna, the ACCADEMIA BIZANTINA is an ensemble which specialises in the repertoires of the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries. This group, one of the most high-profile Italian ensembles, chiefly plays historical instruments. The original nature of their work is the result of the combination of a huge sense of practical discipline with careful study of the scores, which puts one in mind of the noblest of Italian traditions where Italian chamber music is concerned. Ottavion DANTONE was appointed artistic director of the group in 1996, and since then his star has been in the ascendant.


Scheduled Music