Theodora Recording Launch

6.30-8.30pm, Monday 5 February 2024 | The Great Hall at Goodenough College, London WC1N

Join us as we celebrate the imminent release on Alpha Classics of Arcangelo’s biggest and most anticipated recording to date – Handel’s Theodora – in the company of Jonathan Cohen and title role soprano Louise Alder.

This is the first new studio recording by a British period ensemble in almost a quarter of a century of Handel’s penultimate oratorio, rooted in acclaimed concert performances at Barbican Centre, the Vienna Konzerthaus, DeSingel Antwerp, and Arcangelo’s presentation of Theodora‘s BBC Proms premiere in 2018.

Enabled by a £100,000 public fundraising appeal and recorded over 40-plus hours of sessions in Spring 2023, this new recording captures Arcangelo’s radiant ensemble and superb soloists Louise Alder, Tim Mead, Anna Stéphany, Stuart Jackson and Adam Plachetka in a state-of-the-art recording overseen by multiple award-winning producer Aline Blondiau.

Held in the grand surroundings of the Great Hall at Goodenough College, the launch event will feature live performances by Louise Alder and Arcangelo, directed by Jonathan Cohen. Recording donors and supporters will be able to receive their copies of the physical album, signed by Jonathan Cohen and Louise Alder, two weeks ahead of the album’s worldwide release on Alpha Classics on 26 February 2024. Wine and light refreshments will be served.

Press & Praise - 'Theodora' in concert

THE GUARDIAN

“From the overture’s opening bars, Arcangelo’s sound was alternately big-boned and lithe, the harsh ring of violins’ open E strings periodically adding delicious bite. Elsewhere, the ensemble provided a frozen ground for some of Handel’s most poignant arias. From his seat at the harpsichord – an additional pair of hands in Arcangelo’s earth-quaking continuo section – Cohen was endlessly energetic, maintaining an overall sense of momentum through even the gentlest of da capo repeats and drawing a deluxe sonic blend (and a masterclass in diction) from the small chorus.”

THE TIMES

“Jonathan Cohen, directing from the harpsichord, so often imbues Handel with thoughtful loveliness and this Theodora was no exception. Even after 170 or so minutes and three acts, I could have listened to more. Cohen’s nimble period instrument orchestra gave us everything from stately tragedy to sprightly energy to yearning anguish. Solo lute accompaniment brought intimacy to several airs. And his choir’s singing comes with a long list of virtues: superb blend, radiant tone, shapely lines, well-enunciated words.”

WIENER ZEITUNG

“Arcangelo’s choral and orchestral forces breathed life into this Baroque pearl. Under Jonathan Cohen’s direction, the oratorio appeared as an ardent masterpiece…”

Event information:

  • 6.30-8.30pm, Monday 5 February 2024
  • Great Hall, Goodenough College, Mecklenburgh Square, London WC1N 2AB
  • Wine & light refreshments

Session Gallery