Monday, 4 April 2016

Mrs Cornelys' Entertainments

Baroque Burlesque
18th Century Variété

Enthusiastically reviewed in the Dutch press as "fresh and playful Baroque - a feast for the eyes and ears" in which "the theatrical elements worked beautifully", this November in the Netherlands, Simon Murphy presented a new production of his "Baroque Burlesque" "18th Century Variety Show", Mrs Cornelys'  Entertainments. 

Featuring Swedish Baroque dancer Karin Modigh in the title role, the production explores the glittering world of the infamous Mrs Cornelys a.k.a. The Empress of Pleasure, her scandalous masked balls of the 1760's and 1770's, and related figures including Lord Sandwich, actor and playwright Garrick, designer Chippendale, and the composers JC Bach and Abel.

Based on a concept by Simon Murphy, the new production follows the successful 2012 pilot. The show features arias, songs, instrumental and dance music by Abel, JC Bach, Handel, Boyce, Cimarosa, Gluck, Dittersdorf and Mozart, script by Simon Murphy, and choreographies by Karin Modigh and Caroline Copeland.

Murphy and the NDA will tour the show internationally from 2017, featuring new costumes currently being designed and created by Swedish costumier Anna Kjellsdotter.


Check out the production details

Bookings and enquiries


Mrs Cornelys' Entertainments - Baroque Burlesque or An 18th Century Variété
A Show by Simon Murphy
Concept, Script and Music Selection Simon Murphy
Choreography Caroline Copeland and Karin Modigh
Music Director Simon Murphy
Baroque Dance Karin Modigh and Caroline Copeland
Soprano Gudrun Sidonie Otto
The Chamber Soloists of The New Dutch Academy Concertmaster Rachael Beesley
Music by Handel, Abel, JC Bach, Arne, Boyce, Mozart, Gluck, Storace, Kotzwarra, Paisiello, Cimarosa and Dittersdorf
With thanks to Joy Havens, Anna Kjellsdotter and Lieven Baert, The City of The Hague and Prins Berhard Cultuurfonds (Zuid Holland)
Photography by Fernando van Teijlingen
Production Trailer by Rene Louter © Simon Murphy, 2016
Show, Programme and Concept © Simon Murphy, 2016. All rights reserved.


Murphy and NDA open Dutch EU Presidency at Turkish State Opera

Conductor Simon Murphy and members of The Hague's Baroque orchestra, The New Dutch Academy (NDA), opened the year with a very special performance at the Turkish State Opera in Ankara on 5 January. The concert event officially launched the 2016 Dutch Presidency of the EU in Turkey.

The invitation follows a successful appearance at the 43rd Istanbul Music Festival in 2015 as well as a successful series of special hand-tailored cultural diplomacy programmes created and performed by Murphy and the NDA in recent years for the Dutch government for major bilateral events, including in Rome, New York and Beijing.


Sydney Festival 2016

In January 2016, Simon Murphy and the NDA appeared at the famously vibrant Sydney Festival, performing one of their signature programmes, Bach and his Dutch Contemporaries

Warmly received by press and audience alike, Australia's premier arts magazine Limelight reviewed the sold out event (with an audience of 1,142) as "Cunning Dutchmen give the usual suspects a run for their money", billing Simon Murphy as "one of Australia’s finest exports". "For some years now the violist and early music maestro has led this award-winning orchestra". "In addition to being a skilled violist, one of Murphy’s super powers is programming. He’s also a dab hand at presenting, laying out his concert's aims in entertaining detail". The magazine further praised the performance as being "beautifully phrased and richly lyrical", "engaging", and "with an emphasis on tightness of ensemble and at times a breath-taking beauty of tone", "Murphy can congratulate himself on a job well done."  

Presented in co-operation with the Embassy of the Netherlands, the NDA's performance at Sydney's City Recital Hall on January 17 also officially opened the Dirk Hartog Year in 2016, celebrating the 400+ years of relations between the Netherlands and Australia. Special guests at the concert event included Australian Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove, Dutch Ambassador Annemieke Ruigrok, and former Australian Ambassador to the Netherlands Neil Mules.  


Previously, Murphy and the NDA have performed various versions of the programme Bach and his Dutch Contemporaries on the European festival circuit, including at the prestigious Bachfest Leipzig. In 2013, they performed it for the Dutch royal family in The Hague. The Sydney Festival performance was broadcast by the ABC. The Australian tour featured German soprano Gudrun Sidonie Otto and German recorder player Anna Stegmann in solo roles. 

Read the full Limelight review of the show

Listen to a highly personal feature interview with Simon Murphy on Fine Music FM