Internationale Händel Festspiele Göttingen 2024

Willkommen · Welcome 8 9 Dear Audience, for over 100 years, Göttingen has honoured Handel’s work by holding annual festivals. In 1920, Oskar Hagen ignited a passion for state-of-theart productions, and in the years that followed, countless discoveries of Handel’s works and new ideas for their reception were born here. The enthusiasm and commitment of Göttingen’s audiences is what distinguishes this Festival. It is our aim to continue to inspire you and your guests from home and abroad and to demonstrate that Handel’s work has lost none of its relevance to the present day. Beauty in form, despite subjects that are not always beautiful – that is why we have chosen the image of the kaleidoscope. If you want to see beauty, sometimes you have to close your eyes. With a kaleidoscope, you close one eye while the other peers into a small, vibrant world of dazzling colours. Sparkling little fragments, constantly reshaping themselves as they twist and turn – the music of George Frideric Handel is equally dazzling and constantly renewing itself. His pieces echo myths and modern themes, as if Handel had peered into the future through a telescope. Whether it is the transience of man in Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno, identities and role models in the Festival opera Sarrasine, war and exile in Israel in Egypt, or the principles of sustainability – all of these issues that concern us today are echoed in Handel’s works. The 2024 Festival program will bridge the gap between the 18th and 21st centuries, revealing connections between Handel’s music and the pressing issues of our time. With its bridge to the 19th century, the Festival opera Sarrasine introduces yet another layer: this pasticcio combines a masterpiece of 19th century literature with largely unknown music by Handel. The result is an entirely unprecedented work. New twists on familiar formats can also be experienced at our concerts in Göttingen and southern Lower Saxony. Handel as seen through the eyes of violinist Joseph Joachim or a contemporary jazz version juxtaposed with the historical interpretation by our FestspielOrchester Göttingen, the saxophone alongside a world-class recorder duo or instruments such as the serpent, salterio and carillon – all this with outstanding artists who are flocking to Göttingen to celebrate Handel. Kaleidoscope, according to its Greek origin, means “the observation of beautiful forms”. Where that beauty shines in Handel’s works is in the eye of the beholder. Like a magical telescope, the view keeps shifting, allowing for individual interpretations – by performers, Handel experts or listeners just getting acquainted with the composer. To help focus on the present, it is often worth looking to the past. You are more than welcome to come and discover your own unique perspective on this music and the themes it explores at this year’s Festival. Jochen Schäfsmeier George Petrou Geschäftsführender Intendant Künstlerischer Leiter Managing Director Artistic Director Sparkling fragments