Alison Balsom in Gabriel

An Entertainment with Trumpet

Alison Balsom with trumpet

All human life is here: Samuel Adamson’s theatrical celebration of Baroque music brings to life the sights, sounds and stories of 17th-century London through the eyes of a court trumpeter.

Alison Balsom’s performances of Purcell, Handel and their contemporaries give heart and soul to a bustling, exuberant entertainment; a breathtaking evocation of baroque London in all its colour, clamour, diversity and glorious chaos. Characters from monarchs to watermen cross paths in a narrative tied together by Purcell’s music and Balsom’s resplendent natural trumpet-playing.

‘Speech, song and score flow together in one teeming whole that sweeps you along with it’ wrote Dominic Cavendish of the Daily Telegraph in 2013, when Gabriel was first performed at Shakespeare’s Globe. Author Samuel Adamson and director Dominic Dromgoole have reimagined it for the Barbican as part of Balsom's Milton Court artist residency – a fresh encounter with a theatrical experience that (in Cavendish’s words) ‘leaves you giddy with pleasure and fully smitten’.

End-time to be announced nearer the event.


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‘What binds the piece together is the trumpet's ability to mix strength and sweetness, and the comparable blend, in 1690s London, of dirt and delicacy.‘

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