Acis and Galatea – Handel’s masterpiece at St James’ King Street

The Choir of St James’ directed by Warren Trevelyan-Jones continues its Metamorphosis Concert Series with a semi-staged presentation of Handel’s tragicomic masterpiece, Acis and Galatea. Based on Ovid’s gripping tale of unrequited love in a troubled paradise (one of his celebrated Metamorphoses), this pastoral work features moving arias and rousing choruses dealing with themes of passion, loss, pleasure, pain, and triumph over evil. Handel’s score and John Gay’s witty libretto create powerful characters who reveal that everyone can be transformed to a greater or lesser extent by the complexities of love…..for better or for worse.

Performing with the choir, is the The Baroque Orchestra of St James’, led by Alice Evans of the ACO. It includes some of Australia’s most expert baroque proponents.

Tenor Richard Butler sings the roles of Acis and Coridon. He was awarded a Choral Scholarship at King’s College, Cambridge under the direction of Stephen Cleobury CBE. Richard has performed leading roles with the Gabrieli Consort, the Early Opera Company, Parley of Instruments and the English Baroque Choir.

Soprano Anna Sandström sings the role of Galatea. She performs with The Song Company, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Cantillation, Pinchgut Opera, Salut! Baroque. Living in London from 2008-2012, Anna maintained a busy freelance solo and choral career with BBC broadcasts, solo appearances in festivals, and in concerts at the Cadogan Hall and Westminster Abbey. As a featured artist with the Armonico Consort she performed in works including Carissimi’s Jephte, Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas alongside Emma Kirkby.

Bass Philip Murray sings the role of Polypheme with tenor Owen Elsley as Damon. Murray has been a member of the Choir of Saint James’ since 2011, and also sings with Cantillation, the Australian Brandenburg Choir and The Parson’s Affayre. He was a member of the WA Opera Chorus and St George’s Cathedral Choir. He has appeared as soloist on a number of occasions with Collegium Symphonic Chorus, the Albany Choral Society and the Giovanni Consort in works including Handel’s Messiah, Faure’s Requiem, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Stainer’s Crucifixion.

Owen Elsley holds the positions of Master of the Warden’s Music at St Paul’s College, University of Sydney and President of The St Paul’s College Mummers, the college drama society. Owen studied singing under Christopher Allan at the Newcastle Conservatorium and joined the Choir of St James’ in 2012. He also sings with the St Paul’s Chapel Choir under David Drury and Hallelujah Junction, under Jonathan Grieves Smith.

Based at Sydney’s oldest church, The Choir of St James’ is one of Australia’s foremost choirs. The choir has performed on radio, on tour, and on disc as well a presenting an annual concert series.


Richard Butler – Acis and Coridon Anna Sandström – Galatea Philip Murray – Polypheme Owen Elsley – Damon

Director Warren Trevelyan-Jones began his singing career as a Choral Scholar and Lay Clerk in Exeter Cathedral Choir. In 1999 he was appointed Lay Vicar in the Choir of Westminster Abbey, London, and in 2001 he co-founded the award-winning group Ensemble Plus Ultra with Michael Noone. In 2008, with Peter Tregear, he founded The Consort of Melbourne and has directed them in a series of concerts at the new Melbourne Recital Centre and for Music Viva Australia. Warren is also a regular member of the Gabrieli Consort and The Sixteen. He has toured extensively, appeared on over 60 CD recordings, on many television and radio broadcasts, and in many of the worlds’ leading music festivals and concert halls.

Tickets: $50/45.

Bookings: Call (02) 8256 2222, visit, or buy on the door.

For more information about music at St James’, including how to become a subscribing Friend of Music, click here.


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