Sunday, 25 October 2015

Mrs Cornelys' Entertainments

The Hague's Baroque orchestra, The New Dutch Academy, musical director Simon Murphy, presents

Mrs Cornelys' Entertainments
Baroque Burlesque or An 18th Century Variété 

18th Century Variety Show with Baroque dance
Sunday 22 November 2015, 14:00 and 16:00
Monday 23 November 2015, 20:15
Korzo Theater, The Hague


Mrs Cornelys' Entertainments

Actress, (opera)singer, dancer, impresario, madam, cultural entrepreneur, and the mother of Casanova's daughter. The Empress of Pleasure, Mrs Cornelys (1723 – 1797), staged her scandalous masked balls a.k.a. Mrs Cornelys' Entertainments in the 1760's and 1770's at her London Carlisle House, a sort of high class 18th century Moulin Rouge. In each room of the house, she offered another type of entertainment – from concerts, theatre, dance and gambling, right through to rather more piquant activities.

Lord Sandwich (of the sandwich and the Hellfire Club), the actor and playwright Garrick, designer Chippendale, painter Gainsborough and the composers Abel and JC Bach were part of her impressive, cosmopolitan circle. The guest lists of her balls were published in the newspapers with descriptions of the guests' opulent costumes. Think Grammys meets Eyes Wide Shut but with less clothing and more jewellery.

Following the success of their 2012 pilot version of the show, conductor Simon Murphy and NDA now present Mrs Cornelys' Entertainments this November in a new production. In the show, the NDA combines the media of ballet, dance, theatre, song and symphony, bringing these together in the form of a highly sensual 18th century variété featuring breathtaking subtle and virtuosic Baroque dance (ballet) and pantomime Baroque dance (storytelling through gesture and movement).


Concept, Text and Music Selection Simon Murphy
Choreography Caroline Copeland and Karin Modigh
Musical Direction Simon Murphy
Soprano Gudrun Sidonie Otto
Baroque Dance Karin Modigh
Chamber Soloists of the New Dutch Academy
Concertmaster Rachael Beesley
Music by Handel, Abel, JC Bach, Arne, Boyce, Mozart, Gluck, Dittersdorf, Storace and Kotzwarra

Download Flyer


Box Office Korzo Theater, 070 – 363 7540, Prinsestraat 42, Den Haag  (from 1 November)

The show live. Links

Dittersdorf slow movement from Ovidius Symphony no. 4
J.C. Bach Tambourin

Read more about the production on conductor Simon Murphy's blog for Limelight Magazine

(Chamber) Music for Mrs Cornelys' Salons

In the lead up to the november (dance)shows, members of the NDA Chamber Soloists will give a number of intimate, informal chamber music performances with works for string quartet by Abel, Graaf, Schmitt, Stamitz, Dittersdorf, Vanhal and Haydn.

Saturday 31 October in Café de la Gare, Nieuwe Schoolstraat 13A, The Hague at 16:00
Sunday 1 November at 11:30 (am – morning concert) in the brand new, underground chamber music venue, The Crypt, Haarlemmerstraat 126, Amsterdam

More info

About the performers

The New Dutch Academy (NDA) is The Hague's Baroque orchestra.

The NDA is a award-winning group of forty international, young and highly engaged, specialist musicians from all corners of the world. Since 2002, they come together in The Hague in order to explore, present and celebrate 18th century music in all its forms. Conductor and artistic director is Simon Murphy.

Photos: Baroque dancer Caroline Copeland as Mrs Cornelys in the 2012 NDA production Mrs Cornelys' Entertainments, Costumes by Joy Havens, Photos by Fernando van Teijlingen

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Not for publication

More information, images and interviews
Simon Murphy,

Sydney Festival 2016

Simon Murphy and The Hague's Baroque orchestra, The New Dutch Academy (NDA), will make their début at the Sydney Festival this January.

Murphy will direct his acclaimed, hand-crafted concert programme Bach and his Dutch Contemporaries, featuring music by Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, De Fesch, Schickhardt and Van Wassenaer, and starring German soprano Gudrun Sidonie Otto in the solo role.

The programme is now in its 10th year of international success. Since 2006 Murphy has performed various versions of the programme on the European festival circuit, including at the prestigious Bachfest Leipzig, as well as taking it on tour to Canada, the US, Australia and China. Recently he performed it in sold-out performances at the 43rd Istanbul Music Festival and in Hong Kong for PPHK. In 2013, at home in The Hague, Murphy and the NDA performed a very special version of the programme for the Dutch royal family and guests.

In co-operation with the Dutch Embassy, the NDA's 2016 Sydney Festival performance will, simultaneously, officially open the Dirk Hartog Year, the bilateral celebrations in 2016 of the 400 (+) years of contact between the Netherlands and Australia. Murphy is highly experienced as a cultural diplomacy curator. At the request of the Dutch government, Murphy has programmed and performed the music component of major bilateral celebrations, including in Rome (2004), Sydney (2006), New York (2009) and Beijing (2012).


See the Sydney Festival listing for the performance on 17 January at Sydney's City Recital Hall

See the Dutch Embassy's Dirk Hartog Year website