We were so pleased to present our planned events in early December as free livestreamed events. Both events were livestreamed on Facebook for global audiences to enjoy free – see below for the relevant links, both are still available to view on our YouTube channel. Each event was carefully managed, with all musicians safely distanced and behind closed doors, with no audience present. Lockdown regulations in the UK changed in the week of the events, but it was too late for us to deal with the logistics around admitting a live audience.
Wednesday 2 December, 7pm
The Final of the 2020 international Handel Singing Competition, which we had to postpone from earlier in year because of the Coronavirus pandemic. An evening of pure musical pleasure with four of the brightest young stars from the baroque music world presenting all-Handel programmes, accompanied by the London Handel Orchestra under the direction of Laurence Cummings. We had a record number of applications for the competition in 2020, with 190 young singers from 32 countries worldwide. If you are on Facebook, please join the free event here, or access the event here on YouTube,. For more details about the Final, please visit our Handel Singing Competition 2020 page and download the programme for the evening.
Thursday 3 December, 7pm
Our ground-breaking Messiah – Reimagined project, blending ‘live’ and ‘virtual’. Laurence Cummings directed four star soloists, mostly past finalists from the Handel Singing Competition, and the London Handel Orchestra to perform live from St George’s, Hanover Square in London’s Mayfair – Handel’s own church. The choruses were prepared and pre-recorded by six choirs, including our ‘Sing at Home’ chorus of some 150 singers from 16 countries, and integrated digitally into the overall performance – further details about this special project can be found here. For details of the Facebook event, click here, or access the event here on YouTube. Please share with all your friends and be part of the community watching this “once in a lifetime” online experience – this will be a truly unmissable event. The programme for this evening is available to download here – programme.
Mr Handel suffered many adversities during his career, including financial ruin on different occasions and increasing ill-health as he grew older, but each time he showed admirable perserverance and simply carried on writing and performing his wonderful music. We are taking a leaf out of his book. We were so sorry that we could not present the 2020 London Handel Festival in its full glory. We aim to bring you more Handel when the current crisis is over. We will certainly let you know when we are in a position to reinstate some of our cancelled events and concerts.
For now, we are pleased to bring you a selection of digital performances of Handel, and we will keep adding to this list. If you have a suggestion for something you have seen or performed in to be added, please e-mail us. We will also promote digital content through our social media platforms, so please do follow us on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. We also have a freely available resource of programme notes from past performances in the London Handel Festival, and we will be adding to this in the coming weeks – click here to find out more.
Handel’s Heroines – recorded live in Cambridge in March 2020; director – Laurence Cummings, sopranos – Mary Bevan, Jennifer France; Academy of Ancient Music. This is the same concert which was due to happen at Milton Court in London but which was sadly cancelled
Helen Charlston – winner of First Prize in our 2018 Handel Singing Competition, here singing ‘Al lampo dell’armi’ from Giulio Cesare at the live Final
David de Winter – finalist in our 2019 Handel Singing Competition, here singing ‘Quando è parto dell’affetto from ‘La Resurrezione’ (HWV 47) from his lunchtime recital earlier this year
Laurence Cummings – our Musical Director, playing Handel’s Suite in G Minor (HWV 452) on his harpsichord at home
Eboracum Baroque – bring you an hour of socially-distanced Handel, including a grand finale – ‘Zadok the Priest’!
Opera Prelude – supporting young singers with 30-minute lecture recitals on a range of topics, including ‘Handel’s Rival Queens’ with soprano Mimi Doulton
Handel at Home for Easter – arias from La Resurrezione first performed on Easter Sunday (8 April 1708) in Rome, arranged for flute and strings; London Handel Players
ROH Hallelujah! – the famous chorus from Messiah, sung by the orchestra and chorus of the Royal Opera House, socially-distanced of course!
Royal Choral Society – another version of the Hallelujah chorus, this time sung by the massed forces of the Royal Choral Society, again socially distanced