Acis and Galatea

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Acis and Galatea

by G F Handel
Libretto by John Gay and Alexander Pope
Directed and designed by Martin Parr

A rare, fully staged production of Handel’s serenata performed at ‘Canons’ where Handel wrote the piece and where it was first performed in 1718.

Performed June, 2014

Acis: Nick Pritchard
Galatea: Lucy Page
Polyphemus: Ed Grint
Damon: Simon Wall

Laurence Cummings

La Nuova Musica

North London Collegiate School Girls and Harrow School Boys

Produced by Handel House, Mayfair

Guided tours of the grounds and St Lawrence’s church where Handel’s organ still sits, a concerto grosso on the lawn, drinks and picnics, culminating in the production.

Taking the inspiration for the setting from Canons beautiful grounds, the performance took place within an extravagantly swagged forest glade of burnished green and gold organza, backlit with twinkling stars and amid a thousand balloons which could be trees or even possibly distant planets…

Choristers created a sacred circle of lush branches and Galatea blessed the space with a sprinkling of blue rose petals, in readiness for her beloved Acis. Birds on music score paper danced on canes and balloons descended from the auditorium roof to celebrate their union Polyphemus, the one eyed giant, enraged at her disinterest in him destroyed the circle and enslaved the unfortunate Galatea and then killed the brave Acis. Scattering her rose petals and stoic at the departure of her Acis with his 80 meter train of blue organza, Galatea transformed her love into a river and stood alone beneath a rainbow of umbrellas: hope amid the sadness.


“Magical…the most wonderful evening…the way Martin Parr brought the chorus and then the audience into the action was inspired…perfectly enchanting…compelling stage artistry”
Austen Issard-Davies

“A huge triumph”
Simon Weill

“A wonderful midsummer night’s festivity…wonderful performances and direction”
Cathy Rees

“Elegant, charming, delightful, witty, beautiful, musically superb…such energy…brilliant direction”
Rosamund Bernays

“I marvelled at the quality and ingenuity of the production”
Julie Anne Sadie

“A real coup…a brilliant success…stunning”
Andrew Alberry

“The river, the flowers, the balloons, the warbling choir, the umbrellas: a huge triumph!”
Sarah Bardwel

“Blown away by the performance”
Nina Moss

“A magical evening”
British Harpsichord Society