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J.C. Pepusch's Venus & Adonis (1715) (1)

Venus and Adonis UQ 500 x 250
Francois Le Moyne. Venus and Adonis (1729). Copyright Wikimedia Commons.

Dates & Times: Saturday 23 November 2013, 2.30pm.
                           Tuesday 26 November 2013, 6.30pm
Venue: The University of Queensland Art Museum, University Drive, St Lucia
Admission is free.
Enquiries to uqche@uq.edu.au or call (07) 3365-4913.

Download poster for Venus and Adonis performance


Musical Director: Donald Nicolson
Producer: Jane Davidson
Venus: Charlotte Betts-Dean
Adonis: Vivien Hamilton
Mars: Stephen Grant
Chorus: UQ School of Music student vocalists
Orchestra: The Badinerie Players joined by guest artists from across Australia.

About the performance: First performed to critical acclaim at London's Theatre Royal at Drury Lane in March 1715, Johann Christoph Pepusch's masque Venus & Adonis is a setting of an English-language libretto by Colley Cibber (after Ovid).  Similar in tone adn length to Handel's Acis & Galatea, this small-scale opera tells the captivating story of the love between Venus and Adonis, and the bitter jealousy of his rival, Mars.

The work will be performed with vocal soloists and baroque instrumentalists drawn both locally and from further afield, under the musical direction of harpsichordist Donald Nicolson (from Melbourne-based baroque trio Latitude 37) with theatrical direction by Prof. Jane Davidson (who recently worked on a number of baroque operas in collaboration with harpist Andrew Lawrence-King, including a Copenhagen production of Monteverdi's Orfeo).  The score has been edited by UQ academic (and baroque oboist) Dr Samantha Owens from a manuscript set of parts now held in the library of London's Royal Academy of Music, that can be traced back to a 1718 revival at the Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre.

These performances are in conjunction with a three-day research collaboratory 'Arts and Rhetorics of Emotions in Early Modern Europe' from 25 - 27 November at the University of Queensland.