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Early Opera Company

Founded in 1994 by its music director, Christian Curnyn, the Early Opera Company is now firmly established as one of Britain’s leading early music ensembles. Its debut production of Handel’s Serse led to an invitation to perform at the BOC Covent Garden Festival, and further to three performances of Handel’s Ariodante. In 1998 the Company made its debut at St John’s, Smith Square with concert performances of Charpentier’s Actéon and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, also staging Handel’s Orlando at the Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of the South Bank Centre Early Music Festival. Since then it has given particularly notable performances of Dido and Aeneas at the Vic Early Music Festival in Spain, Handel’s Agrippina at St John’s, Handel’s Partenope at the Buxton Festival and the Snape Proms at Aldeburgh, Thomas Arne’s Alfred at the Linbury Studio of the Royal Opera House, a Rameau double-bill at the Cheltenham Festival, and nine seasons at the Iford Festival. The Company has appeared regularly at the Wigmore Hall, and recently made its debut at the Dubrovnik Early Music Festival. It embarked on its first national tour in 2003 with Handel’s Susanna, supported by Arts Council England, and since then has toured with Handel’s Flavio and Orlando. The Early Opera Company’s first recording for Chandos, of Handel’s Partenope, received glowing reviews, and the recently released recording of Handel’s Semele was named Editor’s Choice in Gramophone, one of the Records of 2007 by The Sunday Times, and won the prestigious Stanley Sadie Handel Prize for 2008.

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