‘Ester’ has remained postponed from 2020, thanks to COVID-19 – but HGO is now proud to present the UK premiere of the unique oratorio ‘T’shuat Yisrael al Yedey Ester – The Salvation of Israel by Esther’ (1774). It will take place at The Free Church, Hampstead Garden Suburb, on 13 March 2022. The libretto, in Hebrew, commissioned by the Sephardi congregation of Amsterdam from Rabbi Jacob Saraval in the 1750s, was set a few years later with the assistance of Saraval by the Italian composer Cristiano Lidarti, but his setting was lost until the manuscript turned up in Cambridge University Library in the 1990s.
Lidarti’s galant style is clearly influenced by both Haydn and the tradition of Pergolesi. Scored for choir and baroque orchestra of strings, horns and oboes, with solo roles for Esther, Haman, Mordecai and Ahasuerus, this performance, sung in the original Hebrew, will be the first ever in England.