Spring Awakenings 2024

London Handel Festival - Spring Awakenings 2024

Having run from March 14 – April 20, Spring Awakenings was one of the London Handel Festival’s boldest Festivals. 

“The London Handel Festival opens with a bang!” ★★★★ The Telegraph on Esther

“Triumphant!” ★★★★ Backtrack on Esther

“An Easter musical miracle” ★★★★★ The Times on Brockes Passion

“This voyage up the Thames is exactly what opera needs” ★★★★ The Telegraph on Aci by the River

“Wit, passion and elegance” ★★★★ The Times on Aci by the River

“Riveting performances underpin a gratifying meta version of Aci, Galatea e Polifemo” The Guardian on Aci by the River

“Star Singers shine in a Handel rarity” ★★★★ The Arts Desk on Aci by the River

Full of artistic delights, thrilling Handel-inspired performances and events, all of which were designed to awaken the senses and enrich the soul. The 2024 Festival featured some of the finest Handelian performers in the world in a dazzling programme that represented the incredible depth and variety of Handel’s compositional canon. 

The core mission at the London Handel Festival is to enrich people’s lives through the performance of Handel’s music and to embody his spirit throughout all its work. Handel’s impact on the cultural life of London, the UK  and the world can still be experienced today and all of us at the LHF remain committed to celebrating the life, the music, and continued legacy of this great cultural icon. 

Nobody has been more important or had a greater impact on the London Handel Festival’s success than our Musical Director Laurence Cummings. In the 1990s, a remarkably gifted keyboard student from the Royal College of Music was asked by the Festival’s founder Denys Darlow to play for a performance of the 1712 version of Il Pastor Fido with the London Handel Orchestra. Rumour has it Laurence was also asked to provide the harpsichord as well. This was the start of Laurence Cummings’ long and immensely fruitful relationship with the Festival. 

The 2024 Festival was both Laurence’s 25th and final Festival as Musical Director. In addition to this important celebration, LHF welcomed some of the world’s leading ensembles and acclaimed Handelian performers. Guest ensembles this year included Solomon’s Knot, The English Concert and La Nuova Musica. As well as this the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the National Youth Choir collaborate in a very special Coronation project featuring four new Handel-inspired commissions.  

One of the notable highlights of Laurence’s tenure has been the dazzling array of staged works. Continuing its commitment to presenting unique and innovative interpretations of Handel’s dramatic works. In 2024 critically acclaimed director Jack Furness made his London Handel Festival debut, directing a brand new staging of Handel’s early Neapolitan work Aci, Galatea e Polifemo as part of an event entitled Aci by the River to great acclaim.