Sat 20 Oct, Sheldonian Theatre
The Sheldonian Theatre was erected in 1664-8 to a design by Sir Christopher Wren. Its purpose was to provide an appropriate secular venue for the principal meetings and public ceremonies of the University, and this remains its purpose today. In addition the theatre has become a leading venue for musical concerts and recitals. Please note that tickets for concerts cannot be bought at the Sheldonian.
Please note Semi Circle and Upper Gallery seats do not have backrest.
Capacity: 800 - 1000
Facilities: Toilets (also disabled), No bar
Soprano Mhairi Lawson
Soprano Katherine Crompton
Countertenor Alex Chance
Tenor Nicholas Pritchard
Bass Matthew Brook
Conductor Edward Higginbottom
Instruments of Time and Truth is joined by Oxford Consort of Voices and a stellar line-up of soloists for this rare performance of Handel’s eponymous oratorio, both his first and last.
Whether its theme – the need to invest in a higher good rather than in transient beauty – may have resonated with the composer in his final years, we don’t know. What we do know is that the work exudes Handel’s amazing fluency as a young composer, and his ability to recast his music in the light of a lifetime’s experience.
In many ways this oratorio is Handel’s alpha and omega: it first saw the light of day at the very beginning of his career, in Rome in 1708, as Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno. Then, following another Italian version in 1737, towards the end of his life, Handel supervised the expanded 1757 version, now in English, transforming a chamber piece into a fully formed oratorio, boasting chorus and brass, the essential circumstantial trappings of the genre for an English public, then as now.
Duration: 2 hours 50mins with interval