George Frideric Handel composed "Apollo e Dafne" in 1709-1710, between Venice and England. It was a time when the first colonists were reaching what would become the Carolinas, when the epic Battle at Malplaquet raged in France, and when Czar Peter the Great ruled the day in Russia. So imagine, young Handel (1685-1759) lifting his quill to compose an opera about the force of Cupid's arrow and the weakness of men at the sight of a beautiful woman. Alas, the storyline from Greek mythology does not stay so simple, does it? Apollo, rebuffed by Daphne, tries to pursue her by force, and she escapes his clutches by turning herself into a tree. Pegasus Early Music will recreate Handel's work with singers and period instruments.
Pegasus Early Music: "Apollo & Dafne" takes place Sunday, October 7, 4 p.m. at Downtown United Presbyterian Church, 121 N. Fitzhugh St. $10-$25. 703-3990, pegasusearlymusic.org.