On 15th November 2022, the London Handel Festival announces its spring festival with an exciting line up of world-class artists presenting a mix of traditional and innovative programming. The performances will be held across London venues ranging from St George’s Hanover Square to Shoreditch Treehouse and will run from 23rd February to 18th March 2023. The ‘Forces of Nature’ festival aims to channel George Frideric Handel’s boundary-pushing spirit by presenting a diverse programme of both familiar repertoire and brand-new Handel-inspired works across a variety of traditional and more unusual London venues.
The London Handel Festival opens on 23rd February with a starry line-up of soloists and an exciting collective of musicians performing Handel’s great oratorio Alexander’s Feast at Handel’s church, St George’s Hanover Square. Laurence Cummings conducts the performance which features soprano Lucy Crowe, tenor Stuart Jackson and baritone Jonathan Lemalu with the London Handel Festival Orchestra, the London Handel Singers and the National Youth Choir Fellows.
This season the London Handel Festival launches LHF Opera Studio, a pioneering opera group headed up by award-winning director Adele Thomas and internationally renowned conductor Laurence Cummings. This exciting initiative marks the start of a journey to develop an in-house opera studio as part of the London Handel Festival, focussing on its core charitable objectives of making Handel’s music more accessible and being a recognised international hub for the performance of his music. The London Handel Festival has a long tradition of producing world-class opera in partnership with other organisations but with the creation of LHF Opera Studio, the focus shifts to producing its own innovative and fresh interpretations of Handel’s rarely heard dramatic works.
The first production from LHF Opera Studio, In the Realms of Sorrow is a brand-new theatrical experience presented in a run of four performances on 28th February, 1st, 2nd and 3rd March at Stone Nest, in the heart of London’s West End. Award winning director Adele Thomas has created a cutting-edge stage adaptation of Handel’s four most emotive and soul-searching cantatas for solo voice and ensemble. Sopranos Claire Boothe, Soraya Mafi and Nardus Williams along with countertenor Patrick Terry are joined by narrator Jamie Lang in this immersive performance which will be framed by new music from composer Heloise Werner.
Alternative classical music promoter nonclassical presents a special evening on 3rd March at Village Underground. The evening will feature three original set performances by leading contemporary music artists including Laila Sakini and the evening will finish with a live DJ set by nonclassical founder Gabriel Prokofiev.
Celebrated violinist and director Bjate Eijste and members of Barokksolistene renowned for their ‘Alehouse Sessions’ lead ‘A Royal Collaboration’ on 8th March. For this performance, the London Handel Festival brings together some of the finest young baroque musicians from the UK’s top conservatoires to form a unique ensemble performing a lively mix of well-known Handel works with explorations of more adventurous repertoire.
The Hermes Experiment return to LHF this time at Shoreditch Treehouse, one of London’s coolest and most intimate music venues. The Treehouse is a place to experience live music in a totally different way.
Brand-new concept LHF Supper Club launches with a dining event to celebrate Handel’s birthday at the Fidelio Café in Farringdon on 7th March. This evening brings together performances from Festival Associate Musical Director, Adrian Butterfield and winner of the 2018 International Handel Singing Competition, mezzo-soprano Helen Charlston with a three-course meal and specially curated wine menu.
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 final will be held on 16th March, presented by star soprano Danielle de Niese.
Four lunchtime recitals in the City of London showcase the talents of Steven Divine, the Brook Street Band, Opera Settecento and last year’s winner of the International Handel Singing Competition, Alexander Chance along with his fellow finalists.
The London Handel Festival draws to a close on 18th March with a special concert presented by the award-winning Early Opera Company. Christian Curnyn conducts a sensational cast of singers in a performance of rarely heard Handel opera Scipione.
New learning and engagement programme LHF Inspire! launches this year, presenting a variety of opportunities for young people to get involved with Handel-inspired music making. Also new this year is a £10 ticket initiative aimed at welcoming new audiences to performances with an accessible ticket price for their first visit.
As ever, the festival presents opportunities for people to get involved in appreciation the music of Handel beyond attending traditional performances through the popular ‘Come and Sing’ events which offer the chance to sing Handel’s music in the company of a leading Handel expert, guided walks around London and special behind the scenes events.