Göttingen International Handel Festival celebrates its Centennial Anniversary - 2020 programme
Early music festivals that are able to boast a 100-year history are few and far between. All the more reason to celebrate this special anniversary with a truly unique programme. Between May 20 and June 1, 2020, the Göttingen International Handel Festival will present all 42 operas by Handel within one programme – including staged productions, concertante performances and numerous other formats.
The Festival opera Rodelinda brings the Festival back to its roots. It all began in 1920 with an arrangement of this opera by Oskar Hagen. In the anniversary year, a young team selected by way of a Competition for Directing Teams brings it to the stage of the Deutsches Theater Göttingen. Dorian Dreher and Hsuan Huang assume responsibility for the production. After the premiere on May 20, five additional performances and the Open Doors Occasion on May 23 in the Lokhalle Göttingen will follow. The latter venue will also host the popular Family Version on May 30.
For the centennial anniversary, the Lokhalle Göttingen will function as one of the Festival’s main venues. In five concertante productions, Festival visitors will be able to experience international stars such as Bejun Mehta, Sonia Prina and Julia Lezhneva in Alessandro (May 21). Rinaldo under the musical direction of former Artistic Director Nicholas McGegan will be sure to conjure up memories (May 30). Publio Cornelio Scipione with George Petrou, Artistic Director Designate of the Festival, will offer a glimpse into the future (May 28). Ariodante (May 24) and Serse (May 29) with the FestspielOrchester Göttingen under Laurence Cummings will round off the triad of Artistic Directors.
In a chamber concert in the university’s Great Hall, the Festival audience will be able to experience Laurence Cummings not only as an exceptionally gifted harpsichordist, but also as a superb singer (May 30). There will also be a reunion with Marie Lys. The soprano, renowned for her performance in Lotario, will present the Stiftungskonzert with the Abchordis Ensemble on May 24.
The Festival will also be staging two other major productions in the region. Following the inauguration of the PS.Halle as a venue for the 2019 Festival, a scenic production of Ottone, starring a number of prizewinners from the 2018 Innsbruck Cesti Competition, will be coming to Einbeck on May 22. A Handel opera featuring marionettes will be presented for the very first time at the Festival. The famous Compagnia Marionettistica Carlo Colla e Figli from Milan, musically supported by the lautten compagney BERLIN, will perform Giustino as a puppet theatre piece on the stage of the Stadthalle Osterode am Harz (May 31).
The most recent HipHOpera EZIO: Game of Rome will come to the Lokhalle Göttingen with three scenic performances, transforming the hall into a genuine musical theatre. On May 26 and 27, over 200 young people will bring their perspective on Handel’s Ezio and their very own experiential realm to the stage located in the industrial monument.
Even established items on the programme such as the competition for young ensembles göttingen händel competition on May 19 and 20 as well as the Prizewinners’ Concert on May 21, two concerts by young ensembles from the scholarship programme EEEmerging+ (May 27 and 31), four crossover concerts and two dance arrangements will see the artists each taking on one operatic work. Additional operas will be shown as film recordings of past Festival productions in the new arthouse cinema in the Baptistenkirche (Baptist Church) and will be available as online streams from February 23, 2020. With the Festival Lecture by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Sandberger on May 22 and the Symposium entitled ‘Oper als Geschäft. Händels Opernästhetik und die Prämissen der Aufklärung’ (‘Opera as business. Handel’s operatic aesthetics and the premises of the Enlightenment’) on May 23, the Festival will also provide a stage for Handel research and offer a platform for academic exchange. Readings, talks, concert tours and an extensive supporting framework programme round off the Festival schedule.
In its anniversary year, the Festival will be presenting 120 events, of which 40 are concerts and opera performances (including the Family Version of the opera). More than 700 artists are expected in Göttingen and the region. The total budget for the 2020 Festival amounts to approximately 3 million euros.
Public advance ticket sales will begin on September 27, 2019. Tickets are available at www.haendel-festspiele.de and in Göttingen at the GT Ticket-Service on Wiesenstraße 1, the Tourist Information Office Göttingen at Markt 8 and the Deutsches Theater Göttingen at Theaterplatz 11. Tickets can also be purchased at all CTS Eventim ticket offices in Germany (ticket hotline: 01806-57 00 70, 0.20 €/min. from a German landline).
A detailed presentation of the anniversary programme with Festival representatives, figures from the world of politics, and sponsors will take place at a press conference on February 5, 2020.
The press release, further information and images as well as a pdf of the Programme Preview are available at presse.haendel-festspiele.de.