19.07.13 8pm, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, San Francisco, CA; $20-$45

http://americanbach.org/sfbachfestival/index.html

Rarely performed, Handel’s Esther represents the birth of the English oratorio. Originally composed as a masque for the Duke of Chandos in 1718, Handel returned to his score in the 1730s, when his audiences enthusiasm for Italian opera began to wane. This moving work is a marvelous combination of thrilling choruses and arias, accompanied by a beautiful mélange of instruments including a triple harp. Culminating in a glorious musical paean of rejoicing, Esther became one of Handel’s most popular works and was performed throughout the rest of his career. ABS Academy vocalists will be featured in roles including Mordecai, Haman, King Ahasuerus, and his Queen Esther.

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