The Cause of Thunder

Michael Taylor performs an excerpt from Thierry Tidrow’s “The Cause of Thunder” as part of the web series #mycrownisinmyheart – a pandemic opera for solo countertenor. Made possible by a #digitaloriginals grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.

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G.F. Handel: “Stille Amare” (tolomeo)

from the album “To Die, To Sleep” with dansant ensemble

In the opera “Tolomeo”, Handel crafts an exquisitely visceral ‘death’ scene for the title character, masterfully portraying the potion drunk by Tolomeo pulsating through his blood and slowly easing him into the peaceful embrace of death, leaving him to trail off mid-sentence (spoiler alert: it was just a sleeping potion in the end). The aria is strikingly sensuous, with a chromatically descending bass figure, swooping violins and gasping vocal line: perhaps a “petite mort” after all?