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@Handel #Solomon

4pm to 6pm on July 2, 2017 at Marrickville Town Hall

In 1748 Handel composed his oratorio 'Solomon', presenting him as the image of an ideal ruler, wise and God-fearing.

Come and find out for yourself. Is #Solomon all about the Queen of Sheba or is that just fake news?


Solomon: Anna Fraser
Zadok: Brad Cooper
Second Harlot: Narelle Yeo
Queen of Sheba, First Harlot, Pharoah’s Daughter: Morgan Balfour
Levite: Andrew O’Connor

Chamber orchestra
Leichhardt Espresso Chorus
Artistic Director Michelle Leonard OAM. 
In this Leichhardt Espresso Chorus performance, Song Company soprano Anna Fraser, takes the lead role of Solomon. Traditionally is a counter tenor role, but it has also been performed and recorded many times by a soprano, for example John Eliot Gardner’s famous recording with Carolyn Watkinson in the lead role.
“It felt absolutely right to cast Anna Fraser in this role,” says LEC Artistic Director Michelle Leonard. “She not only has extraordinary musical presence and gravitas on stage, she fiercely embodies independent thought and leadership. I think that in the current political times, a strong, independent, intelligent female in an oratorio is apt.”
The choruses are the pillars of the piece. They set the mood  and comment on the development of the drama. The chorus is divided into two four-part choirs, with nearly 100 voices are performing in this concert.
“I’m casting the choir as a PR machine, they are the spin doctors,” says Michelle Leonard. “In our current world politics we are all absorbing only bite size pieces of information, coming down through what once was mainstream media. That’s why we have called this concert #Solomon and why we are using the hashtag #fakenews. We ask the audience to question why this leader is not given anything other than a god-like status? Is that really the true picture?”
The central theme of the libretto originates from the Old Testament Book of Kings (1st Kings 1-11) and The Chronicles (2nd Chronicles 1-9).

“Because it’s a biblical text, all of the sexual innuendoes are subtly hidden in the words and in the orchestration,” says Michelle Leonard. “Certainly on the face of it Solomon goes to war for the Queen of Sheba because of his moral duty. But there are a lot of various innuendoes in the libretto that suggest another meaning.”
“We are asking the audience to look at this ancient piece of biblical text through a 2017 mindset. It’s also about power, and people ingratiating themselves with leaders and maneuvering themselves into positions of power.”