Given their splendid, highly affective music, riveting drama and continuing appeal and relevance to today’s audiences, it is hardly surprising that Handel’s late oratorios have often been described as his greatest operas. Accordingly, staged productions of Handel’s oratorios have increasingly entered the repertoire of the world’s great opera houses.
With Joshua, Opera North now takes on one of Handel’s greatest works from the height of his late creative period. Conveying the Old Testament story of Moses’ successor as he leads the Israelites in conquest of Canaan, it marries spiritual meditation and the most tender of love stories with the kind of epic plot line most people would associate with the latest Hollywood movie.
Handel deploys all of his vast experience as an opera composer in his highly theatrical and pictorial score. Strongly characterised, Joshua includes a marvellous series of set-piece moments, such as the collapse of the walls of Jericho and the miracle of the sun and moon standing still at the battle of Gibeon. As you would expect from the composer of the Messiah, Joshua also contains some of Handel’s most monumental choral music. The triumphal return of Othniel after his victory at Debir is celebrated in one of Handel’s most famous choruses, ‘See, the conqu’ring hero comes!’ best known in its incarnation as the hymn tune ‘Thine Be the Glory’.
Joshua was first performed in 1748 at the Covent Garden Theatre in London. Its military themes struck an immediate chord with a public in a triumphalist mood following the defeat of the Jacobite uprising in 1746, quickly turning the piece into one of the most successful of Handel's later oratorios. Now staged in Leeds Grand Theatre by director/designer Charles Edwards, this new presentation returns the work to its roots in the theatre. Tackling the militaristic undertones of the original by exploring the costs of war on the individual and society, Edwards converts the work's original message into a passionate plea for peace and understanding.
Lasts approximately 2 hours 30 minutes.
Sung in English.
Financially supported by the Opera North Future Fund
No future performances are planned for this production.
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Tuesday - Friday
We’ve teamed up with Piazza by Anthony in Leeds to offer you an exclusive pre-theatre menu. Enjoy 2 Courses for £17.95 or 3 Courses for £21.95. Please use the promotion code ‘OPERANORTH’ when booking your table online or by calling 0113 2470995. This special offer is also available without booking, simply turn up and show your opera tickets to the receptionist.
Only valid on the day of the performance your ticket is for. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer.
Enjoy 20% off your bill at Sandinista (Cross Belgrave Street - New Briggate) on presentation of your Opera North ticket when placing their food order. To book a table call 0113 305 0372. Food is served till 10pm through the week with final orders at 9pm Friday and Saturday. Only valid on the day of the performance their ticket is for. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer.
Just a short walk from the theatre, another fantastic dining option is The Reliance (76-78 North Street).Treat yourself to the pre-theatre menu served between 5:30 and 6:30pm, Mon - Sat. Enjoy 2 courses for £13.95 or 3 courses for £17.90. Call 0113 2956060 to book a table.