George Friedrich Händel’s ‘Esther’, the first English oratorio, contains everything that made Handel famous: drama, moving arias and an overwhelming final chorus. The story is full of intrigue and betrayal, but ends on a positive note.
The Jewish girl Esther becomes the wife of the Persian king Ahasuerus. When the king threatens to destroy the Jewish people, she prepares a delicious meal for her husband, the king. During the meal, he relaxes and she can convince him to reverse his decision. By doing so, she saves her people from death.
The Apollo Ensemble provides an exciting performance. Previously, the ensemble made a big impression with Handel’s ‘Brockes-Passion’. They now invite you to listen to Handel’s oratorio Esther!
Sopranos: Renate Arends, Elvire Beekhuizen
Altos: Rosina Fabius, Eske Tibben
Tenors: Camilo Delgado Díaz , Francis Ng
Basses: Michiel Meijer, Bram Trouwborst
David Rabinovich, artistic director
Apollo Ensemble and Amnesty International with an evening of justice
Time to celebrate! A threat was averted without using force. That is the story of Esther, the courageous Jewish woman who saved her people through persuasion. A dramatic story with a happy ending.
We hardly need to ‘translate’ this 2,500-year-old story to the present day, because nothing has really changed. Just as the Jewish minority in the Persian Empire were threatened and had no chance to develop, so present day minorities are forced to deal with similar problems. What stands out is the non-violent solution. The meal that was used as an instrument to put the king in a benevolent mood is still practiced all over the world. As much as part of the population speaks negatively about minorities, the kebab shop and counless Chinese, Greek, Italian and Indian restaurants show that our stomachs are much more tolerant than our brains.
This ties in very nicely with Amnesty International’s initiative, an Evening of Justice. Here, the preparation of a meal is combined with information about the cultural backgrounds and threats to the culture from which the recipe of the meal comes.
See also: www.amnesty.nl/avondjegerechtigheid
Our production Esther and an Evening of Justice offer the audience, even if only for a few hours, the chance to experience the threats and the positive solutions that Händel has so sublimely expressed in music, in his Esther. Especially now, when public opinion focuses on the problems of minorities, it is important to put the spotlight on the festive Esther. For an Evening of Justice, Amnesty works together with De Krat, a supplier of sustainable meal boxes. We deliver throughout the Netherlands with the exception of the Wadden islands. The boxes will be delivered on Thursday 10 and 17 February 2022, so you can enjoy a fresh and festive meal with your guests during the weekend. You must place your order no later than the Sunday before, so no later than 6 or 13 February. It takes about 2 hours to prepare all dishes. The only additional ingredients are olive oil, butter and salt.