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Michael White’s music news: Handel, vocal and instrumental; guitar summit

21 March, 2019 — By Michael White

George Fridric Handel portrait by Balthasar Denner

THERE’S no escape from Handel this week in London, including his opera Berenice which opens Wednesday at the beautiful new Linbury Theatre in the bowels of the Royal Opera House (worth seeing for the space if nothing else). It’s a period-performance show, with Laurence Cummings conducting the London Handel Orchestra. And though a long evening, there are great tunes. March 27-April 7, 7pm (with matinées at 2pm). Linbury Studio, Royal Opera House, Bow Street, WC2E 9DD, 020 7212 9755,

Caroline Sampson

For something more succinct, Wigmore Hall has vocal and instrumental works from Handel’s years in Italy, given by The King’s Consort with soprano Carolyn Samp­son. Wednesday March 27, 7.30pm, Wigmore Hall, Wigmore Street, W1U 2BP, 020 7935 2141,  From £18.

Sam Brown and Nathaniel Mander

And at the composer’s one-time home in Brook Street, lutenist Sam Brown and harpsi­chordist Nathaniel Mander give an intimate recital of yet more Handel. Tuesday March 26, 6.30pm, £12, Handel House, Brook Street, W1K 4HB,


Nelson Veras and Jonathan Kreisberg

• Meanwhile, if you’ve never been to a guitar-summit, there’s one at the Spice of Life jazz club when two world-class performers come together: Jonathan Kreisberg (whose broad experience includes playing with Florida’s New World Symphony under conductor Michael Tilson Thomas) and Nelson Veras (a celebrated improviser with Brazilian roots). Wed­nesday March 27, doors 6pm, music 8pm, £20/£15 advance. Spice of Life, 6 Moor Street, Soho, W1D 5NA, 020 7437 7013,

• My Music – a sort of Desert Island Discs but with live orchestra to play the choices: which in this case includes Brahms, Mozart and Parry chosen by Stanley Johnson, father of Boris. Bizarre. 1pm, Wigmore Hall, £16/£14 cons,

• Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama brass band on tour to London. Regent Hall, 275 Oxford Street, W1C 2DJ, www.concert-­, 1pm, free

• Vasari Singers – in 20th-century choral music by the likes of fashionable Latvian Eriks Esenvalds and a 40-minute epic Concerto for Choir by the late Alfred Schnittke. St Bride’s, Fleet Street, EC4Y 8AU, 0800 441 8881, 7.30pm, £20, under-18s £12

Camden Choir perform Bruckner’s devoutly conceived Requiem; the virtuosic Choral Dances from Britten’s coronation opera Gloriana; and world première of Alexa by Dani Howard. St Paul’s Church, Bedford Street, Covent Garden, 020 7836 5221,, 7.30pm, £16.50/ £12.50 concs

Hampstead Chamber Choir sing Dvořák’s Mass in D and other less-known pieces. Hampstead Parish Church, Church Row, NW3 6UU,, 7.30pm, £12/£10 cons/ under-16s free with an adult.

Brahms’ German Requiem – in the reduced version for choir and two pianos, sung by the Petros Singers. St James Piccadilly, 197 Piccadilly, W1J 9LL, 020 7734 4511, concerts.html, 7.30pm, from £15, cons £5

London Pro Arte Choir – singing Mendelssohn and Bruckner. St Michael Mill Hill, Flower Lane, NW7 2JA, 020 8420 7238,, 7.30pm, £14 in advance; £15 on the door; under-18s free

London Sinfonietta – exploring the emergence of minimalism through two of its pioneers, Steve Reich and Philip Glass. Kings Place, 90 York Way, N1 9AG, 020 7520 1490,, 7.30pm, £22.50

North London Symphony Orchestra – with Korngold’s Violin Concerto and Brahms’ 3rd Symphony. St James Muswell Hill, St James Lane, Muswell Hill, N10 3DB,, 7.30pm, £14/£11 conc, under-16s £7

Boito’s Mefistofele – rarely performed opera, done here in concert by Chelsea Opera Group. Queen Elizabeth Hall,  Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX, 020 3879 9555,  6.30pm, from £15

• Britten Sinfonia – with music by James MacMillan to celebrate his 60th birthday. 1pm, £16, Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, W1U 2BP, 020 7935 2141,

• Walton’s 1st Symphony – one of the great English symphonic scores, fresh and fierce. Played here by the LPO under Vasily Petrenko. Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX, 020 3879 9555,  7.30pm, from £10

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