Arcadia Early Music Academy

Georg Friedrich Händel: Alexander’s Feast & chamber music

Alexander’s Feast (HWV 75) is an ode with music by George Frideric Handel set to a libretto by Newburgh Hamilton. Hamilton adapted his libretto from John Dryden’s ode Alexander’s Feast, or the Power of Music (1697) which had been written to celebrate Saint Cecilia’s Day. Jeremiah Clarke (whose score is now lost) set the original ode to music.

The work describes a banquet held by Alexander the Great and his mistress Thaïs in the captured Persian city of Persepolis, during which the musician Timotheus sings and plays his lyre, arousing various moods in Alexander until he is finally incited to burn the city down in revenge for his dead Greek soldiers.

The piece was a great success and it encouraged Handel to make the transition from writing Italian operas to English choral works. The soloists at the premiere were the sopranos Anna Maria Strada and Cecilia Young, the tenor John Beard, and a bass called Erard (first name unknown).

The tutors are Enrique Gómez-Cabrero Fernández (baroque violin & string consort), Romeo Ciuffa (flutes & wind consort), Jan Cizmar (theorbo, lute and basso continuo) and Marco Vitale (director, vocal consort & basso continuo). We will work on a selection from the score, and integrating the program with chamber music by Handel (trio sonatas and Italian cantatas).

The Palace of Koszęcin is the perfect location for this course: built in 1609 with many beauti- ful rooms for music making, a huge area of parks and leisure facilities (tennis court and other amenities).



We will work on a selection from Handel’s Alexander’s Feast, and selection of his chamber music (triosonatas and cantatas). A link recording is freely available online:


Concert pitch will be a= 415 Hz. We prefer period instruments.

For whom?

Voices: Sopranos, Altos, Tenors, Basses (choir singers and soloists)
Instruments: strings, flutes, oboes, bassoon, horns, trumpets, harpsichord/organ, theorbo.

Week program

8 August: Arrival of the participants and tutor’s concert in the evening
9-13 August: see day program
14 August: participants concert
15 August: departure after breakfast

Day program

10-13h: morning session
13:30: Lunch
15-18: afternoon session

please note that the times are indicative and may change at the courses

Not included in the fees: travels, extra drinks, single room (surcharge of 80,- EUR)



  • Full time course

  • accommodation in double rooms
  • 3 meals per day



  • Full time course

  • Accommodation in double rooms
  • 3 meals per day

Polscy uczestnicy

zl. 1.200,-

  • Kurs,
  • zakwaterowanie w pokojach 2 osobowych,
  • pełne wyzywienie (3 posiłki)

slask          mkidn_01_cmyk-300x193-54379d7fd6bd3

This course is organized in partnership with Zespół Pieśni i Tańca Śląsk im. Stanisława Hadyny, with support of the Polish Ministery of Culture

Apply now

Polscy uczestnicy