Maxim Emelyanychev conducts Handel's Theodora

Concert performance with Lisette Oropesa, Joyce DiDonato, Michael Spyres... — Il Pomo d'Oro Choir and Orchestra

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Lisette Oropesa — Theodora

Joyce DiDonato — Irene

Michael Spyres — Septimius

John Chest — Valens

Paul-Antoine Bénos-Djian — Didymus

Massimo Lombardi — Messenger

Il Pomo d'Oro

Maxim Emelyanychev — Conductor

Program notes

For's 3,000th live broadcast, we are delighted to bring you a concert performance of one of the masterpieces of Baroque music, performed by a top-notch cast including Lisette Oropesa and Joyce DiDonato! 

In an oeuvre full of gorgeous melodies and ingenious orchestration, Theodora stands out as one of Handel’s finest creations. Composed in 1749 at the twilight of his career when Handel was 64, this penultimate major work would be the composer’s favorite from among the dozens of oratorios he had written, undervalued in his day but recognized now as the masterpiece it is. Brimming with dramatic intensity, Theodora traces the tragic tale of the eponymous Christian martyr facing persecution at the hands of the Romans.

This concert rendition sees magnificent mezzo Joyce DiDonato bring her extraordinary talents to the character of Irene, whose arias include the sublime “As with Rosy Steps, the Morn,” alongside a team of young opera superstars, including soprano Lisette Oropesa in the title role and tenor Michael Spyres as Septimius. With music by Il Pomo d’Oro—one of the preeminent historically-informed ensembles in the world—under Maxim Emelyanychev, this dream line-up brings together a deeply moving, unforgettable production of one of the gems of the late Baroque period.

Joyce DiDonato appears courtesy of Erato/Warner Classics.

The broadcast of this concert has been made possible by kind permission of Erato/Warner Classics.
This production of Theodora will be recorded by Erato/Warner Classics for an Autumn 2022 release.

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