ACIS AND GALATEA
G. F. Handel

The Vache Baroque Festival | 2021

As Handels' most enduring dramatic work (and originally composed for outdoor performance), this beautiful tale of love, tragedy and prevailing hope will transport you to the mythical utopia of nymphs and shepherds. The story follows the romantic story of Acis, a mortal shephers, and Galatea, an ethereal nymph, whose undying love is fated by the jealousy of the monstrous giant Polyphemus.

Music Director: Jonathan Darbourne

Director: Sophie Gilpin

Designer: Laura Jane Stanfield

Acis: James Way

Galatea: Rowan Pierce

Polyphemus: Tristan Hambleton

Damon I & chorus: Rory Carver

Damon II & chorus: Guy Elliot

Coridon & chorus: Esther Mallet

Chorus: Nancy Holt & Oskar McCarthy

Photographs: @thephotographyshed

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REVIEWS

"INGENIOUS STAGECRAFT... IN AN APPROPRIATELY VERDANT OUTDOOR SETTING, DIRECTOR SOPHIE GILPIN ACHIEVES THE REQUISITE EMOTIONAL BALANCING ACT. BOTH ARTIFICIAL AND SINCERE, IRONIC YET CHARMING, HER PRODUCTION MAKES A VIVID IMPACT"

★★★★ THE STAGE

"A BIJOU DELIGHT OF BUBBLY BAROQUE"

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"SOPHIE GILPIN AND THE VBF COMPANY HAVE CREATED A WORK TRUE TO THE CHARACTER OF HANDEL'S "LITTLE OPERA": HE WOULD CERTAINLY HAVE APPROVED. OVID DEFINITELY WOULD."

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"IT IS THE CHORUS THAT IMPORTANTLY SETS THE MOOD...THEY ATTEND ON GALATEA AND ACIS, BRINGING A BATH WHICH TBEY FILL WITH COLOURED BATH-FOAM FROM FLORISTS' PAILS. THIS IS AN INSPIRED TOUCH OF TENDER HUMOUR."

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"POLYPHEMUS IS ARROGANT AND VAIN. IN ONE OF MANY FINELY DETAILED REFERENCES, DIRECTOR, SOPHIE GILPIN, HAS HIM PREENING HIMSELF BEFORE A MIRROR IMAGINING HIMSELF THE HERO, BUT AN IMAGE OF ACIS LOOKS BACK."

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"IT WOULD BE EASY TO OVER-EGG THE MURDER SCENE... BUT [STANFIELD AND GILPIN] TURN THE HORROR IN TO A BALLET IN SLOW MOTION... THE MOMENT IS PALPABLY TOUCHING. THE TRANSFORMATION SCENE IS BEAUTIFULLY RENDERED"

MARK ASPEN