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Project information

Handel's Esther 1720 Recording and Concerts

This project extends our ongoing trajectory of presenting Handel's English dramatic works in their earliest available form. The project will generate employment opportunities for our artists, it will increase the international profile of the company and forms the core of our 2011 outreach programme.

July 2011 - July 2011

Charity information: Dunedin Consort

Dunedin Consort logo
  • Need


    Dunedin specialises in the provision of early and contemporary music. There are few opportunities for artists and audiences in this field in Scotland.
    Despite our large following, Dunedin cannot fulfill the strong demand for live performances. Ticket sales and fees do not cover artist and production costs and Dunedin works relentlessly to generate the necessary funds to fulfill its mission.


    Our emphasis on the highest artistic calibre drives the company growth and has become a beacon of excellence.
    This project will generate performing opportunities for our musicians and will consolidate Dunedin as a key company in Scotland.
    The recording will provide regular sales income. The performances and workshops will engage the community and our large audience base.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Generate employment opportunities for our musicians.


    » Record Handel's Esther with Linn records.
    » Present four live performances of Handel's Esther in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth and London.

    What success will look like

    Dunedin will promote and present four live performances and four full days of recording work.

    Aim 2

    Develop an outreach programme based on Handel's Esther and its biblical and cultural significance.


    » Explore the biblical figure of Esther, feast associated and cultural significance in public discussions with John Butt.
    » Undertake 3 choral workshops with amateur singers led by Susan Hamilton and John Butt.

    What success will look like

    Success will be increasing our audience database by 10%, involving an average of 100 amateur singers in our very popular workshops and increasing awareness of our artistic aims.

    Aim 3

    Engage with our audience allowing them to participate in our artistic growth.


    » Dunedin will present four live performances of Handel's Esther.

    What success will look like

    Success will be presenting live performances to an average of 500 people per concert and increasing our CD sales by 10% by 2012.

  • Impact


    Dunedin's long term ambition is to become a full time company providing regular employment opportunities for its musicians. We expect to see an increased level of live performances over the next 28 months.

    This project's success will be demonstrated by the number of promoters' requests and invitations for Dunedin to perform this work.

    This project will also strive to achieve an increase of Dunedin's audience database by 10%.


    Artists illness affects all art producing companies. Dunedin has developed an efficient graded booking list. If an artist becomes unavailable, Dunedin can resort to a pool of excellent musicians.

    Insufficient funding is a reality for all music companies. Dunedin has a long list of supporters and patrons and a very active board of directors who continuously ensure the financial viability of our artistic plans. Tight financial control is always exercised.


    We have enjoyed a close relationship with our supporters. They would be kept informed of any developments regarding this project regularly with detailed financial information if requested.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £117,982

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £61,657 Recording Recording Fees and production costs
      £46,325 4 performances Live concerts, rehearsals and
      £10,000 Workshops Workshops, outreach projects
  • Background


    Dunedin Consort & Players is a Scottish music company based in Edinburgh. Our activities take place throughout Scotland, the UK and more recently in Europe.

    This project will see live performances in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth and London.

    Workshops will take place in Glasgow and Edinburgh. They will be coordinated with the University of Glasgow and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.


    The main beneficiaries of this project are the musicians and our audiences. Our musicians are largely self employed with unstable revenue streams. The current recession is affecting the sector badly and the performers sit at the bottom of the scale.
    Our recent performances have enjoyed critical acclaim with large audience attendance. Our ticketing pricing has been devised to ensure wide accessibility with low ticket prices and

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Dunedin Consort & Players contributes to the cultural life of Scotland. In its chosen fields of baroque music, contemporary composition and a capella ensemble singing, it fosters music-making to the highest standards by both professional and amateur performers; encourages composition by commissioning new works; contributes to the cultural life of communities across Scotland and beyond through its performances, workshops and audience-development work.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Alfonso Leal. Manager.

    Project coordinator. Alfonso brings vast experience as a project and event coordinator with particular emphasis on financial performance.

    Susan Hamilton

    Artistic Director. Susan has driven the Dunedin consort from its inception. She performs all soprano lead roles is a recognised workshop leader.

    John Butt, Director

    John Butt uniquely combines scholarly musical research with practical musical performances. His leadership has earned the group critical acclaim.

    Sir Muir Russell

    Chairman. Sir Muir Russell chairs the board of directors of Dunedin Consort.