Casa Italiana, 1161 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY 10027
Watch the Italian Academy's first live, free performance before an audience since 2020, as William Christie performs Part 1 of George Frideric Handel's Italian oratorio of 1707 with singers and instrumentalists from Juilliard415 and the Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at The Juilliard School.
Co-sponsors: Les Arts Florissants, The Sidney J. Weinberg Jr. Foundation; Juilliard415 (of The Juilliard School).
William Christie, harpsichordist, conductor, musicologist, and teacher, is the founder of Les Arts Florissants, the internationally celebrated Baroque music ensemble. The ensemble has played a pioneering role in the revival of a repertoire that had been largely forgotten and which is now enjoyed across the globe in all the most prestigious concert halls. Born in Buffalo, and educated at Harvard and Yale, William Christie has lived in France since 1971.
Launched in 2009, Juilliard Historical Performance is the nation’s leading graduate program specializing in early music on period instruments. Every year, Juilliard415, the department's principal ensemble, brings major figures in the field of early music to lead performances of both rare and canonical works by composers of the 17th through 19th centuries. William Christie has been artist-in-residence since the program's inception, and historical performance students are also able to work alongside Christie and Paul Agnew at the annual Festival Dans les Jardins de William Christie. Juilliard415 tours extensively in the US and abroad, and has performed on five continents, with notable appearances at the Boston Early Music Festival, Leipzig Bachfest, and Utrecht Early Music Festival, where Juilliard was the first-ever conservatory in residence. Juilliard415 made its South American debut with concerts in Bolivia, a tour sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, and has twice toured to New Zealand.
The Sidney J. Weinberg Jr. Foundation supports health, science, education, and the arts.
George Frideric Handel was born in Germany in 1685, the same year as J.S Bach. He studied in Halle and began composing in Hamburg and Italy before settling in London in 1712. His operas, oratorios, concerti, and sonatas were influenced by both German polyphony and the Italian Baroque. He is widely considered one of the finest composers of his age, and indeed of any age.
Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (The Triumph of Time and Enlightenment) was composed in 1707, when the 22-year-old prodigy had come to Rome to discover the glories of Italian music at first hand. The Trionfo is one of the high points of Handel's Roman visit. In this allegorical drama written by his patron Cardinal Benedetto Pamphili, Bellezza (Beauty) is tempted by Piacere (Pleasure) to continue a life of thoughtless diversion, but is warned by Tempo (Time) and Disinganno (Enlightenment) that such a path will lead only to corruption and death. The Italian Academy’s performance will present the first half of this spectacular work, which includes some of Handel’s freshest inspirations.