Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra

Händel’s Esther
Wed 23 Oct / 20:15
Wed 23 Oct ’24
  • Wed 23 Oct ’24
    Concertzaal, Den Haag

One of the most famous conductors of the Netherlands, Ton Koopmans, turns 80 in October 2024. To celebrate the anniversary in style, the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir will perform Esther. It was Händel’s very first English-language oratorio, with which the composer single-handedly created a new genre. Although seldom performed, Esther is a dazzling treasure trove of dynamic and passionate music, and hence a splendid piece with which to celebrate Ton Koopman’s artistry and perpetually youthful spirit. 


Georg Friedrich Händel Esther

Esther is a purely musical, evening-long oratorio. The piece will be performed in a concertante version, as was also customary in Händel’s own time. Ton Koopmans has compiled a new edition especially for this performance, combining a very early version from 1720 [HWV 50a] with the grander version from 1732 [HWV 50b]. The Esther from 1732 marks the start of the English oratorio as a genre that did not previously exist. In the 1720s, Georg Friedrich Händel had established himself in London as a successful composer and producer of Italian operas. Giulio Cesare and Rodelinda are well-known operas from this period, for example. When the London public’s interest in Italian operas began to wane in the 1730s, Händel devised something new for his audience. He combined an English-language libretto with a Biblical theme and created a new work with spectacular opera elements on that basis, offering drama, poignant arias and impressive choirs.

Cloakroom and drink 
Cloakroom and an intermission drink are included. If the event does not have an intermission, you will receive the drink afterwards.  

Order all the concerts in the series in order to use the 20% seriekorting.

The libretto is based on Jean Racine’s theatre piece with the same name. It tells the story of the Jewish orphan Esther who eventually becomes Queen of Persia and manages to save her people from a brutal onslaught by the evil Haman. Händel’s music score gives a masterful rendition of the different moods and characters. The arias and refrains ensure the audience tangibly experiences the love, despair, vengeance, anger, hope and triumph of this gripping story. Esther includes an unusually colourful orchestra score, such as an aria with harp and horns that evoke echoes of Händel’s famous Water Music.

Ooievaarspas discount 
Ooievaarspas holders are eligible for a discount on the ticket price for this concert. To book tickets, we need to see your Ooievaarspas for registration purposes. Please contact our booking office to book your tickets.  


Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir
Julia Lezhneva sopraan (Esther)
Maarten Engeltjes countertenor (Ahasverus / Mordecai)
Andreas Wolf bas (Haman)
Ton Koopman klavecimbel en dirigent