For a number of years now, the young singer, harpsichordist and theorbo player Nicolas Achten (b. 1985) has directed the summer Baroque opera productions at deSingel with, for and by the youngsters of Muziektheater Transparant. At the same time, he has rapidly built up a successful international career with his ensemble Scherzi Musicali. High time, thus, for a big concert in our Blue Hall. For the occasion, Achten has opted for some of Handel's wonderful Italian cantatas, works in which the composer experimented with new ideas and in which we hear for the first time melodies that appear later in his well-known masterpieces.
In 1706, the twenty-one-year-old Handel departed for Italy for four years, a stay that left an indelible mark on his compositional career. In Italy, he met such important composers as Alessandro and Domenico Scarlatti, Vivaldi, Corelli and Albinoni, and wrote an enormous body of music that is among his best.