Hallelujah ! Handel at the
Festival Montréal Baroque
A program in the image of the short-tempered but flamboyant virtuoso composer
This year, for its sixteenth edition, the Festival Montréal Baroque (FMB) celebrates the work of the flamboyant virtuoso Georg Friedrich Handel, the most brilliant composer of Italian operas, oratorios with exciting choruses, and great music of the XVII century.
From June 21st to 24th, the FMB is back with Hallelujah Handel! reflecting Handel’s flamboyant and eclectic personality with unique performances of rarely heard works performed in unusual settings. For the first time in Montreal, The Triumph of Time and Truth, Handel’s last oratorio, will be heard with Ensemble Caprice, the German orchestra, L’Arte del Mondo, l’Ensemble vocal Arts-Québec, Shannon Mercer, Leandro Marziote and Charles Daniels, June 21, at Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours. L’Arte del Mondo (Cologne) will join the festival for its Canadian début on June 22, at the Church of St John the Evangelist.
“For its 16th edition, the FMB honours the work of Handel, who remains to this day the greatest composer of oratorios and great ceremonial music of his time. At once a passionate man, sometimes capable of violent anger, and an epicurean, Handel was someone who loved the pleasures of life,” says Susie Napper, founder and co-artistic director of the FMB.
For the 16th edition, the FMB honours the work of Handel, who remains to this day the greatest composer of oratorios and great ceremonial music of his time.
The chamber opera Acis and Galatea with British star, Charles Daniels, on June 23, at Agora des Sciences (UQAM) and a staged grand ball with Apollo and Daphne directed by Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière, on June 24, at the Agora des Sciences (UQAM) are but a few of the concerts on the Festival menu!
As well as Handel’s own compositions, you’ll be able to hear Irish, Welsh and Scottish, toe-tapping folk music of the period in concert with Charles Daniels and Les Voix Humaines, La Cigale and at many of the free outdoor concerts throughout the festival at Phillip’ Square and Square Chabot.
This year’s local star will be the prize-winning young baroque harpist, Antoine Malette-Chénier who will be featured in Handel’s beloved harp concerto, on June 23 at the Agora des Science – with Acis and Galatea. He will also be featured with Les Voix Humaines and Charles Daniels, on June 22 at the Rotunda MAC Museum.
Everyone will gather at the Festival café to drink and make merry after hours at the MAC restaurant where amateurs, students and pros will jam together on an open stage!
Apollo and Daphne at the grand cupid’s ball, a closing concert of the FMB, staged by the dance company Les Jardins chorégraphiques accompanied by the ensemble Les Boréades, proposes square dances and jigs with Pierre Chartrand and Anne-Marie Gardette. June 24, at 7 pm, at the Agora Hydro-Québec UQÀM. Note that ticket holders for the closing concert will have the opportunity to participate in a square dance and jig workshop on June 24 at 10 am at Agora Hydro-Québec UQÀM.
Intimate Concert Series
In a cozy atmosphere, the Concerts Intimes series offers festival-goers the chance to discover Fugge Dal Vento, Handel’s finest operatic tunes, arranged by the ensemble Flûtes alors!, June 21 at 9 pm, at La Crypte of Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours Chapel.
In Sparrows, Doves, Ravens, Owls, we revisit the ages as seen by the best composers at the time of the birth of Handel. With Charles Daniels, tenor, Antoine Mallette-Chénier, baroque harp and Les voix humaines, duo of viols de gamba. On June 22, at 9 pm, at the Rotunda of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal.
‘In a cozy atmosphere, the Concerts Intimes series offers festival-goers the chance to discover Handel’s finest’ opera arias’
Farewell to music gives way to Celtic folk music from Ireland, Scotland and Wales that has fascinated and inspired Handel. With La Cigale, June 23 at 11:30 am at St. John the Evangelist Church.
Participatory activities for the general public
In addition to its regular programming, the FMB offers free shows and activities for the general public: the opening parade on June 21 at Place Jacques-Cartier; the Amateur Marathon on June 23 at St John the Evangelist Church; an old instrument fair on June 23 at the McCord Museum; and square dance and jig sessions on June 24 at Agora HydroQuébec of UQÀM.
Feature image: Gerrit van Honthorst – The Concert
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The Festival Montréal Baroque welcomes both renowned musicians and young artists who will delight you with their interpretation of baroque sounds from around the world. In addition to a dozen paying concerts, there are free concerts in public places. You may even be invited to participate in the interpretation of the works!