Purcell composed King Arthur in 1692, during the reign of William III, the protestant regent of the Dutch provinces. As a consequence of his marriage to Mary Stuart,  he had been invited to assume the throne of England in 1688. The libretto is a working out of the well-loved King Arthur story, one of ancient Britain’s core legends covering the transition from paganism to Christianity.

This performance, which was a great success in France during the 2009-10 season, was reprised on request of the prestigious Théâtre de l’Athénée in Paris in the first half of 2014.

The new Dutch 2017 version of Purcell’s tragi-comic masterpiece shows a modern form of epic/transparency theatre – in which the singers not only play their own roles, but also function as the storytellers of the King Arthur legend themselves.

It is a delightful mix of delicate love-arias, triumphal choruses, and comic tableaux alongside polyphony of the highest quality, and music to drink and to dance to. The orchestra and singers guide you through this remarkable “semi-opera” in a playful yet thought-provoking way. The result is a gorgeously formed, total theatrical experience.




A BarokOpera Amsterdam production

Klik here for more information.



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