– Performances across eight different London venues ranging from the familiar St George’s Church, to the more unexpected Village Underground, Shoreditch
– Immersive opera performance of Acis and Galatea with La Nuova Musica
– Final of the International Handel Singing Competition with the London Handel Orchestra
– Brand new partnerships with the Coram Foundation, the UK’s oldest children’s charity
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On 24th January 2022, the London Handel Festival announces the return of its spring festival with an exciting line up of world-class artists and Handel-inspired performances across eight different London venues running from 23rd March to 18th April 2022. The Festival of ‘New Beginnings’ aims to take audiences on a journey of exploration and inspiration, presenting familiar repertoire alongside a broad range of fresh new music inspired by Handel.
Gregory Batsleer, Festival Director comments: “At the London Handel Festival our core mission is to share the inspiration of Handel and the wonders of his music as widely as possible. It is our profound belief that Handel’s music has just as much power to have an impact in 2022 as it did when it was first performed. This year we are stepping up a gear, taking inspiration from performances of original Handel works by world-class artists as well as new works inspired by the great composer and unique reworkings of his music.”
Laurence Cummings, Musical Director of the London Handel Festival since 1999 adds: “I am both thrilled and excited that the London Handel Festival returns once again this spring with one of our most exciting festivals to date. We have some truly world class and exceptional artists joining us for our programme and after such a period of instability in the arts, our Festival of ‘New Beginnings’ offers some much-needed hope and optimism for the future.”
Star soprano Danielle de Niese, critically acclaimed violinist Rachel Podger and dynamic collective 12 Ensemble are among artists making their debut London Handel Festival performances this year. On Sunday 27th March Danielle de Niese presents a recital of Handel arias with accompaniment from the London Handel Festival’s Musical Director Laurence Cummings. Rachel Podger performs on Sunday 3rd April alongside a team of world-class players in a programme that features some of Handel’s finest chamber music as well as gems from composers known and loved by Handel.
As well as being the greatest composer of his day, Handel was an entrepreneur and a champion of all things new. Inspired by this, the London Handel Festival is committed to showcasing new music and this year presents world premiere performances of works by Anna Clyne and Joss Campbell. The Opening Night Gala on Wednesday 23rd March features Anna Clyne’s new composition ‘In thy beauty’ among other works, performed by the Academy of Ancient Music and the National Youth Choir of Great Britain Chamber Choir conducted by Laurence Cummings. In this new piece, the composer interprets a text often associated with Handel’s Coronation Anthems. The Handel in Hackney event at iconic London club Village Underground on Friday 25th March presents 12 Ensemble performing a new work by leading young composer Joss Campbell, a treatment of Handel’s aria ‘Furie Terribili’ with electronics.
An immersive production of Handel’s Acis and Galatea in partnership with versatile performing group La Nuova Musica is presented in a run of three performances on Thursday 31st March, Friday 1st April and Saturday 2nd April at Stone Nest, a recently established performance space in the heart of London’s West End. The performance features a cast of acclaimed soloists, a team of dancers and an innovative set design.
Handel was deeply committed to nurturing and championing the talents of young singers from around the world, many of whom rose to fame as his star soloists. The International Handel Singing Competition continues this great tradition and has grown since its inauguration in 2002 to become a major international event with a reputation for showcasing the very best young singing talent. This year’s semi-final will be held on Friday 18th March, followed by the final which will be held on Friday 8th April, both featuring musical accompaniment from in-house ensemble the London Handel Orchestra.
On Saturday 9th April 2022, the London Handel Festival proudly launches a long-term partnership with The Coram Foundation, an organisation inextricably linked to Handel. The composer was a lifelong supporter of the Foundling Hospital, the UK’s first children’s charity which continues today as Coram, named after philanthropist Thomas Coram. Coram offers direct, practical help and emotional support to vulnerable children, young people, and their families across the UK. This new partnership will see the London Handel Festival working together with Coram to deliver unique musical experiences for vulnerable children and young people across London.
In a first for the London Handel Festival, this year will see the creation of live online preview events for ticket-holders as the festival embraces the virtual space. These events will offer audiences the opportunity to meet the artists, hear from experts and deepen their immersion into Handel’s world. As ever, the festival presents opportunities for people to get involved through the popular ‘Come and Sing’ events which offer the chance to sing Handel’s music in the company of a leading Handel expert.
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