The 2019 Göttingen International Handel Festival bears the motto “Magical Strings”. Today, Thursday, January 31, 2019, Artistic Director Laurence Cummings and Managing Director Tobias Wolff introduced the multifaceted Festival programme. The patron of the Festival, scheduled to take place from May 17 to 26, 2019, is the Prime Minister of Lower Saxony, Stephan Weil.
Once again in 2019, an opera by George Frideric Handel will take centre stage. This year will feature Rodrigo, Handel's work from 1707 which for many years was preserved solely as fragments. Following the premiere on May 17, the programme includes five additional performances and an Open doors occasion on May 20. Under the baton of Laurence Cummings and directed by Walter Sutcliffe, the FestspielOrchester Göttingen (FOG) and an outstanding ensemble of soloists surrounding soprano Erica Eloff in the title role will bring the work to the stage of the Deutsches Theater Göttingen. The Festival oratorio Saul (May 18) with the FOG and the NDR Chor in the St. Blasius church Hann. Münden features an equally excellent cast with Markus Brück in the title role. The Artistic Director invited the renowned countertenor Christophe Dumaux for the FOG Gala Concert on May 24. This year, the Festival audience can look forward to further choral and orchestral concerts including performances by the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin (May 19), Coro e Orchestra Ghislieri (May 25) and the Göttinger Symphonie Orchester (May 26), as well as a number of outstanding soloists. Laurence Cummings will present the opening concert on May 3 together with soprano Ruby Hughes and he will perform in Einbeck on May 21 with Dorothee Oberlinger. Margret Köll and Stefan Temmingh can be heard in the Great Hall of the University (May 26). Jazz lovers can look forward to the Dieter Ilg Trio on May 24. The programme of the Göttingen International Handel Festival is not limited exclusively to renowned artists however. The Festival also provides up-and-coming talents and young ensembles from the early music scene the opportunity to perform in front of an international audience, such as the göttingen händel competition for young ensembles on May 20 and 21. While the Symposium (May 18) will explore "Music and Melancholy in Handel's Enlightenment", the Festival Lecture focuses on the First World War, Handel's rediscovery and the “short 20th century”.
The Festival will present a total of approx. 60 events, including 24 concerts and operas (including the open doors occasion and family version of the opera on May 26). More than 500 artists are expected in Göttingen and the region. The total budget for the Festival is approximately 1.5 million euros. Due to the renovation of numerous venues in Göttingen, the organisers expect significantly lower visitor numbers than in previous years. Public advance sales will begin on February 8, 2019.
Those in attendance at the press conference on behalf of the partners, sponsors and cooperating partners of the Festival included Dr. Annette Schwandner (Ministerial Director in the Ministry of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony), Bernhard Reuter (District Administrator of the District of Göttingen), Petra Broistedt (Head of the Department of Culture and Social Affairs of the City of Göttingen), Dr. Johannes Janssen, (Foundation Director of the Lower Saxony Sparkassenstiftung), Rainer Hald (Chairman of the Board of the Sparkasse Göttingen), Hans-Christian Biallas (President of the Klosterkammer Hannover), Michael Büchting (Board of the AKB Foundation), Erich Sidler (Director of the Deutsches Theater Göttingen), Christian Firmbach (General Director of the Oldenburgisches Staatstheater) and Christoph Oppermann (Editor-in-Chief of the Göttinger Tageblatt) as well as numerous other committee representatives of the Festspiel-GmbH, the Göttinger Händel-Gesellschaft e. V. and the Stiftung Internationale Händel-Festspiele Göttingen.