‘Lascia la spina, cogli la rosa’ declares Pleasure to Beauty in the oratorio composed by the young Handel during his stay in Italy. 1707 to 1710 – three critical and formative years for ‘il caro Sassone’ (the dear Saxon) during which time he met Corelli and possibly Vivaldi. ‘Leave the thorn and pick the rose,’ is exactly what the Russian soprano Julia Lezhneva offers us in her second recital at La Monnaie. Dipping into the repertoire of the masters of the Italian baroque, the young singer uses the fullness, the malleability and the natural pureness of her voice in these virtuoso songs, resonating with all the perfumes of the soul. The Pomo d’Oro orchestra, whose musicians are recognized as amongst the best players of period instruments, will accompany this programme under the baton of the phenomenal violinist Dmitry Sinkovsky.