Handel’s spectacular, rarely performed oratorio

The Triumph of Time and Enlightenment: Laurence Cummings rediscovers the eternal truths (and very real delights) of Handel’s spectacular Italian oratorio.

Beauty knows that she’s fragile. Pleasure assures her that she’ll never fade – but then, he says that to all the girls. Enlightenment has some uncomfortable truths to tell, and Time, of course, always wins in the end. Or does he? In Handel’s allegorical oratorio, emotions take on a startlingly human form.

Before he came to London, Handel took Italy by storm. They called him ‘the dear Saxon’, and in Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno he turns philosophy into pure theatre. Still relatively unfamiliar in the English-speaking world, it’s an absolute knockout: flamboyant, expressive and containing some of Handel’s very greatest melodies. It’s a real passion project for Laurence Cummings, who conducts four of the most charismatic vocalists on the current baroque scene.

A free pre-concert talk will take place at 6.30pm in the auditorium on both performance days.

Sophie Junker, Beauty
Anna Dennis, Pleasure
Reginald Mobley, Enlightenment
Nick Pritchard, Time
Academy of Ancient Music
Laurence Cummings, conductor
Concert details
Handel Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno HWV46a
Sophie Junker Beauty
Anna Dennis Pleasure
Reginald Mobley Enlightenment
Nick Pritchard Time
Academy of Ancient Music
Laurence Cummings conductor
Concert date(s)
West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge
Wednesday, 10 May 2023 | 7.30pm
Tickets: £5 – £37.50
Milton Court Concert Hall, London
Thursday, 11 May 2023 | 7.30pm
Tickets: £35 – £5
Box office: 020 7101 1188