Dawn Kotoski, soprano (Galatea) • David Gordon, tenor (Acis) Glenn Siebert, tenor (Damon) • Jan Opalach, bass (Polyphemus) Seattle Symphony Chorale • Seattle Symphony • Gerard Schwarz
Acis and Galatea, variously described as a pastoral, a ‘little opera’ and a masque, is one of Handel’s most popular works. It is a delectable succession of pastoral airs, love-lorn lyrics, and sprightly or mourning choruses, spiced by the pungent and unforgettable interjection of the one-eyed giant Polyphemus, who destroys the idyll of the shepherd Acis and the nymph Galatea. Handel had first turned to the subject in a cantata written in Naples in 1708. His English work, formally a masque, went through several stages until this two-act version of 1739, written principally by John Gay and graced by Handel’s exquisite music.