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Nov 21, 2018

2019 Handel Festival: “Sensitive, heroic, sublime – Handel’s women”

31 May – 16 June 2019

International advance ticket sales start on 15 November 2018 


From 31 May to 6 June 2019, the Handel Festival will be taking place once again in Halle an der Saale, the city where George Frideric Handel was born. More than 1,000 artists from all over the world will put on a programme of more than 100 events in 22 different venues. 

“Once again, the Handel Festival in Halle, the city of Handel's birth, is set to be a summit meeting of renowned musicians of historically informed performance practice. With it, the people of Halle and their guests will have the opportunity to attend nine Baroque operas – including six fully staged productions – and, moreover, numerous gala concerts featuring international star singers.” Dr. Bernd Wiegand, Mayor 


The title of the 2019 Handel Festival is “Sensitive, heroic, sublime – Handel’s women”. George Frideric Handel had contact with very diverse women during his lifetime. He met women from the aristocracy and middle classes and worked with singers and dancers. More than 100 female figures appear in Handel’s operas, and another 70 or so in his oratorios. First-class female musicians, such as Vivica Genaux, Karina Gauvin, Carolyn Sampson, Christina Pluhar, Hana Blažiková and Anna Prohaska, as well as the internationally feted counter-tenors Valer Sabadus, Lawrence Zazzo and Raffaele Pé, will be turning their musical attention to this theme and highlighting different facets of it. In addition, the presence of internationally renowned ensembles, such as The Academy of Ancient Music under the musical direction of Nigel Short, and the King’s Consort with Robert King from the UK, the French ensemble Les Talens Lyriques under the baton of Christophe Rousset, Auser Musici with Carlo Ipata from Italy, Kammerorchester Basel from Switzerland and Il Suonar Parlante with Vittorio Ghielmi will make the Handel Festival a particularly splendid occasion. Guest performers further include top Baroque music ensembles from Germany, such as Lautten Compagney Berlin, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Batzdorfer Hofkapelle and the MDR Radio Choir. 


“Nowhere else can you experience a first-rate musical meeting of this kind with such a multifaceted programme, where intercultural concerts and rock, jazz and electronic music build bridges to Baroque. I would like to thank all those who make it possible for our visitors, along with the artists and the Handel House Foundation, to celebrate the Handel Festival in the city of the composer’s birth. These are, first and foremost, our principal sponsors: the City of Halle an der Saale and the State of Saxony-Anhalt. The Federal Government has even extended its commitment, for which I express my sincerest gratitude to the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. Lotto Sachsen-Anhalt has for a number of years now presented the traditional performance of Messiah to the great delight of a huge host of visitors each time. We are very much obliged to our local partner, the Saalesparkasse, which in collaboration with the Ostdeutsche Sparkassenstiftung has been extremely active in recent years and, to cite one example, has enabled several outstanding operas to be produced at the Goethe Theatre in Bad Lauchstädt. Hallesche Wohnungsgesellschaft is continuing its involvement this year, with events that include a highly popular, admission-free Baroque celebration on Domplatz. For their support for the gala concerts, many thanks also to Total Raffinerie Mitteldeutschland, GP Günter Papenburg AG, Ströer Deutsche Städte Medien, Stadtwerke Halle and Kathi Rainer Thiele GmbH.“ 

Clemens Birnbaum, Executive Director Handel Festival Halle