British conductor directs early music opera arias

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British conductor directs early music opera arias

A British conductor specializing in Baroque music will present early music opera arias, performed by the choir and orchestra he founded, at Seoul Arts Center.
John Eliot Gardiner, the founder and art director of the Monteverdi Choir, the English Baroque Soloists and the Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique, will conduct the choir and the chamber orchestra performing arias from Henry Purcell’s opera in his second visit since 1996.
The British native has strong interests in early music, forming the Monteverdi Choir in 1964. In 1968, he established Monteverdi Orchestra to support the choir.
Nine years later, Mr. Gardiner founded the English Baroque Soloists with members of the orchestra. The baroque chamber orchestra made their debut at the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music, performing Handel’s Acis and Galatea on period instruments. The recording won them the Gramophone Award for early music. In 1990, Mr. Gardiner formed a new period orchestra, the Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique.
Mr. Gardiner has held positions in well-known orchestras. He was the music director of the Opera de Lyons, principal conductor of the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg. As a guest conductor, he has appeared with other orchestras including the Philhamonia, Boston, Cleveland, Royal Concertgebouw and Wiener Philhamoniker orchestras.
Under the guidance of Mr. Gardiner, the Monteverdi Choir won the Gramophone Award in 1991, 1992, 1996 and 1997. The English Baroque Soloists are known for playing Mozart and won the Gramophone Best Opera Award in 1991 for their first Mozart opera album, “Idomeneo.” They have performed at La Scala in Milan, Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Lincoln Center in New York and Large Theater in Pompeii.
The programs are opera arias from Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, a story of the Trojan prince Aeneas of Greek mythology, and Neptune’s Masque from the Tempest, attributed to Purcell.
The performance will be at 8 p.m. tomorrow in the concert hall of the Seoul Arts Center. Ticket prices are 30,000 to 100,000 won ($96). For ticket information, call 1588-7890.

by Limb Jae-un
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