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Esther & Jonah, part of Houston Early Music Festival
February 16 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
This program comprises two concise music dramas from opposite ends of the 18th century: G. F. Handel’sEsther (1718) and Samuel Felsted’s Jonah (1775). With gorgeous arias and stirring choruses, Handel’s first English-language oratorio celebrates an Old Testament heroine’s ultimate victory over the forces of evil. Such works provided valuable models for Samuel Felsted, a composer born to an English family in Jamaica in the early 1740s. His concise setting of the story of Jonah and the whale is the first American oratorio.