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Handel's Theodora

Date: 30 November to 6 December 2016
Venue: City Recital Hall, 2‒12 Angel Place, Sydney NSW 2000
Tickets: Buy online here.

This production includes a collaboration between Pinchgut Opera and CHE to develop a project that focuses on the role and influence of emotions in eighteenth century performances and explores its relevance for contemporary societies. Associate artists Erin Helyard and Caitlin Hulcup work with CHE to uncover the interface between historical and contemporary operatic emotions.

Theodora is a tale from ancient Rome that speaks to our hearts, here and now. Innocence, love, faith and courage bloom strong and full of promise, only to be struck down by blind hatred and the thirst for power.

Join us this December for a sublime evening as the Pinchgut team. led by the virtuosic Erin Helyard and directed by Lindy Hume, breathes life into Handel's most beloved opera.

Theodora is the leader of the Christian community in Antioch: a young woman whose life of virtue has inspired many to embrace her faith – including the Roman officer Didymus, who has in the process fallen deeply in love with his spiritual mentor. When the order comes through that all who refuse to offer sacrifice to Jupiter are to be tortured and killed, the two lovers find themselves locked in a battle to the death: each determined to sacrifice their own life to save the other.

Handel’s sublime music takes us deep inside the emotional drama of this tragic story, revealing the characters’ inmost hopes and fears: the pure flame of Theodora’s faith, but also her despair when faced with a fate worse than death; Didymus’s tender love for Theodora; the offended rage of the Roman governor, determined to uphold the letter of the law; the crowd, baying for  blood at the start, but deeply shaken by the martyrs’ quiet courage at the last.