Sydney's wonderfully named Pinchgut Opera is committed to Baroque and Classical repertoire that rarely finds its way into traditional opera houses, and its 2005 production of Dardanus was the work's Australian premiere. The company uses the original 1739 version of the opera, with a brief interpolation from the composer's 1744 revision, and entirely omits the allegorical Prologue. Anthony Walker leads the Cantillation choir and the Orchestra of the Antipodes, which specializes in music of the Baroque era, in an elegant and idiomatic performance of the opera.
Pinchgut Opera, based in Sydney and founded in 2002, specializes in Baroque and Classical opera, featuring works such as Semele, The Fairy Queen, Idomeneo, and Orfeo. One of its more obscure repertoire choices is Marc-Antoine Charpentier's 1688 David & Jonathan. It's a work that's rarely performed or recorded, so this fine performance is revelatory.
Widely considered as one of the leading exponents in early music, Emma Kirkby is renowned for her purity of production, clarity of diction and extraordinary degree of vocal control. From this release it is obvious that Emma Kirkby's artistic vigour and sense of discovery are undiminished. Alongside her incomparable performances of well-loved works such as Bach's cantata Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, she uses the esteem in which she is held by musicians and audiences alike to champion long-forgotten repertory such as William Hayes's The Passions. Emma is accompanied by Cantillation and the Orchestra of the Antipodes conducted by Antony Walker.