About Baroque Christmas Cantatas
A concert for St Beornwald’s Day
Bampton Classical Opera presents a seasonal concert at St Mary’s Church in Witney, Oxfordshire on Saturday 12 December at 4pm, to mark St Beornwald’s Day, the annual celebration of the patron saint of Bampton. The concert will feature two fine baroque pastoral Christmas cantatas: Alessandro Scarlatti’s ‘Non sò qual più m’ingombra’, and Antonio Caldara’s ‘Amarilli vezzosa’.
Alessandro Scarlatti’s ‘Non sò qual più m’ingombra’ opens with a masterly accompanied recitative on the wonder of the Christmas story. Two arias follow, the first in Scarlatti’s most ornate ‘modern’ style, contrasting beautifully with the simplicity of the final Siciliano, with its message of peace to the whole world.
The text of Antonio Caldara’s ‘Amarilli vezzosa’ is a pastoral nativity, the story of three shepherdesses who bring gifts of flowers to the Christ Child. The sophisticated formal opening leads to an idyllic vision of lilting and joyous music before it finally fades away.
The singers are: mezzo-soprano Anna Starushkevych, the first winner of Bampton Classical Opera’s Young Singers’ Competition in 2013; soprano Samantha Louis-Jean, who sings in the company’s productions of Gluck The Crown and Paris and Helen in 2021; mezzo-soprano Cathy Bell, who makes her début with the company. Bampton Classical Players will be directed by conductor Andrew Griffiths.
The concert can also be viewed on-line on the Bampton website, from 14 December – 6 January, for a small donation.
Alessandro Scarlatti Non sò qual più m’ingombra (Cantata pastorale 1716)
Antonio Caldara Amarilli vezzosa
Samantha Louis-Jean soprano
Anna Starushkevych mezzo-soprano
Cathy Bell mezzo-soprano
Bampton Classical Players, on period instruments
Directed by Andrew Griffiths
Tickets: £20 (£10 for under-16s) – 40 tickets will be available, online only. The concert will be given under Covid restrictions. For further details see
About Bampton Classical Opera
Bampton Classical Opera enjoys a national reputation for its passionate and enlightened discoveries of rare late 18th-century operas, sung in lively new translations. Amongst these have been UK premières of Bertoni Orfeo, Isouard Cendrillon, Marcos Portugal The Marriage of Figaro, Paer Leonora, Benda Romeo and Juliet, Gluck Il Parnaso confuso, Bauci e Philemon and Salieri Falstaff.
The company works with some of the finest emerging young professional singers and stages productions in rural venues in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire as well as regularly in London at St John’s Smith Square. Other significant venues and festivals have included Wigmore Hall and Purcell Room, Buxton Festival, Cheltenham Festival and Theatre Royal Bath.
Bampton Classical Opera encourages a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, and with ticket prices being excellent value, their performances provide an ideal introduction to anyone unaccustomed to opera.
Bampton’s productions of Gluck The Crown and Paris and Helen have been postponed until 2021 due to COVID-19.
Bampton Classical Opera’s 2019 production of Stephen Storace ‘Bride and Gloom’ (‘Gli sposi malcontenti’) has been shortlisted for an International Opera Award/Rediscovered Work Category.