Karlsruhe (dpa / lsw) – “Hercules” is the focus of the 44th International Handel Festival in Karlsruhe. Around the birthday of the baroque composer Georg Friedrich Handel, opera productions with international stars and concerts with renowned baroque musicians are on the program from February 18 to March 2 in the Badisches Staatstheater. The festival begins on February 18 with the new production of Handel’s oratorio Hercules, directed by Floris Visser and conducted by Danish baroque expert Lars Ulrik Mortensen. American bass-baritone Brandon Cedel makes his debut in the title role of Hercules. Baroque star Ann Hallenberg is at his side as Dejanira.
Other highlights include a gala concert with the Italian mezzo-soprano Anna Bonitatibus (February 19), a gala concert by the German Handel Soloists with the American conductor Stephen Stubbs and works by Handel, Corelli, Vivaldi and Purcell (February 24), the revival of «Tolomeo» (February 25) and the annual chamber concert of the German Handel Soloists (February 28).
The Handel Festival was launched in 1978 as a festival entirely dedicated to the music of the German-English baroque master Georg Friedrich Handel (1685-1759). At that time it was a daring undertaking with an uncertain outcome – today baroque music is a magnet for visitors.
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