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The Judgement of Paris

Dates: Thursday 1 June, Friday 2 June 2017
Thur 1 June:12.30 and 7.30pm
Fri 2 Jun: 8.30pm
Venue: Denmark Civic Centre, Denmark, Western Australia
Tickets: denmarkfestivalofvoice.com.au

Like a modern-day X-Factor, this opera developed out of a competition.  British nobles, jealous of the success of opera in France and Italy, put up the idea of the competition and the prize money to increase interest in home-grown English opera.  The plot, based on Greek Mythology, concerns a shepherd, Paris, three goddesses ‒ Juno, Pallas-Athena and Venus – and a beauty contest. Mercury, the messenger of the gods, descends to earth to tell the shepherd, Paris, of the contest, and to offer him the gods’ protection while Paris chooses the most beautiful of the three goddesses. Paris is to offer the Golden Apple to the goddess whom he chooses. Each of the goddesses sings of their individual beauty and skills, but Paris cannot decide the winner from these declarations alone: he requests that they each disrobe ‘for ’tis not a face alone that must carry the prize’.  Naturally the goddesses are not happy about this request and prefer to sing to each of their gifts – warrior power, political distinction and the promise of Helen of Troy.

The Judgement of Paris, composed by John Eccles (1701), is a one-act opera with an accessible and engaging plot. Originating from the masque tradition, this spectacle includes a variety of performing arts – solo singers, a chorus and a baroque orchestra, as well as dynamic stagecraft, lighting and sound production. Directed by internationally known baroque expert Dr Georg Corall, with baroque vocal coach and gesture specialist Patricia Alessi, the opera combines professional musicians and singers from Europe, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Denmark, alongside Denmark community members.

  • Sarabande Early Music Ensemble
  • New Holland Consort
  • Denmark Baroque Opera Chorus
  • Music Director: Georg Corall
  • Stage and Vocal Director: Patricia Alessi
  • Stage Director: Neil Riddell
  • Soloists: Rachel Martella, Brooke Shannon, Belinda Cox, Patrick MacDevitt, Wesley Williams

Supported by ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (Europe 1100‒1800), The University of Western Australia, Shire of Denmark, Bankwest, Sarabande Early Music Ensemble, Denmark Community Foundation (WA) Inc., WA Department of Culture and the Arts, WA Department of Regional Development, WA Royalties for Regions, Lotterywest WA, Denmark Arts, Country Arts WA.

Image: Angelica Kauffman, El juicio de Paris, circa 1781. Museo de Arte de Ponce, Ponce, Puerto Rico.  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.