In Search of Animals in Handel's Operas
A “real tour de force” exploring the mythic history of animals in Handel’s operas complete with illustrations and audio recordings of the composer’s arias (News—Austria).
When New York Times–bestselling novelist Donna Leon isn’t writing her Commissario Guido Brunetti mysteries, she often listens to her favorite composer, George Frideric Handel. Leon noticed that Handel frequently references animals in his music. In his arias, Handel explores the perceived virtues and vices of the lion, bee, nightingale, snake, elephant, and tiger, among others. With this in mind, Leon combined her knowledge of medieval bestiaries—illustrated collections of animal stories—with her love of Handel.
In Handel’s Bestiary, Leon traces twelve animals through history, mythology, and Handel’s arias. Each chapter is joined by original illustrations by German painter Michael Sowa. And in this enhanced edition, music is included from conductor Alan Curtis and his orchestra, Il Complesso Barocco.