It was a good week for Händel fans in New York, with the 1720 Radamisto at Juilliard and the Mark Morris Dance Group‘s setting of his 1740 oratorio L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato at the White Light Festival.
I was lucky enough to see both, starting with Radamisto on Wednesday. The New York Times review doesn’t do it justice in my opinion, I guess I have a high tolerance for nonstop da capo arias… And the performers were all great, very impressive. Since then I’ve been reliving it with this full performance from Salzburg in 2002.
As for L’Allegro, etc., I learned last night that it was created when Mark Morris was choreographer in residence at La Monnaie, the opera house in Brussels. And since they have such a great digital archive, I was able to find photographs and costume designs from the premiere performance; even as still images, they bring back the joy of the performance, so lovely.
Here’s a featurette on L’Allegro, etc. (is there some acronym for this? LAIPEIM?) from MMDG themselves.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPakF1dNcs8&w=350&h=250]