The London Handel Festival gathers momentum as we enter its final weeks. The Festival started with a performance of Semele at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, which received a five-starred review in the The Times. As Geoff Brown writes in his review, Laurence Cummings and the London Handel Orchestra “found their spark” at the beginning of a festival that glorifies Handel’s genius.
Laurence Cummings, Artistic Director of the Festival, says that “The exchange of international musical styles and ideas that took place in London, so vital during Handel’s day, remains alive and well today. The range of artists and depth of the programme confirm the Festival’s position as one of the world’ most exciting and extensive annual celebrations of Handel’s music.”
This year, in what is the 38th Festival in celebration of the composer’s 330th anniversary, they explore Handel’s pasticcio Giove in Argo, which has not been heard in the capital since 1739. The opera, made up of fragments of previously composed material, has been highly acclaimed by critics in four-starred reviews, with Tim Ashley in The Guardian describing the production and conducting as “terrific” and Alexandra Coghlan remarking on Laurence Cummings’ “stylish delivery” in The Spectator. Richard Morrison in The Times highlights it’s “excellent musical values”, and Stephen Pritchard in The Observer writes that “under the driving direction of conductor Laurence Cummings and the spirited playing of the London Handel Orchestra, the evening flashed by.”