COVID-19 pandemic: Handel Festival Hall 2020 cancelled

Dear Handel Festival audience, dear sponsors and friends,

Due to the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Trustees of the Stiftung Händel-Haus today unanimously decided that unfortunately the Handel Festival Halle (Saale) 2020, which was to take place from 29 May to 14 June, must be cancelled. Global entry and exit bans, restricted air traffic and the potential danger to guests, artists and employees have led to this decision. Leading ensembles of Handel interpretation wanted to celebrate the music festival together with guests from many parts of the world. Numerous artists come from the crisis areas defined by the Robert Koch Institute. And the audience would also be at considerable risk of being infected with the corona virus due to its high international profile.

"This is more than sad, but at the same time it is also the only right decision in the current situation," says Lord Mayor and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Stiftung Händel-Haus, Dr. Bernd Wiegand.

"The decision to cancel was not an easy one. Due to force majeure, the many visitors who were looking forward to great performances and wanted to celebrate the music festival in a cheerful way now have to do without. To protect the population, the guests and the performers, a cancellation is unavoidable," says Clemens Birnbaum, Director of the Stiftung Händel-Haus and Director of the Handel Festival, and he adds: "The cancellation also affects the many freelance musicians of Early Music. I very much hope that the programmes developed by the Federal Government and the Bundesländer to provide financial security will take effect and will not threaten the existence of the musicians. In addition, there are also various offers of help under private law, where everyone can help with a donation.”

A postponement of the concerts within the year 2020 has been intensively examined, but has not proved to be feasible. Therefore an exchange of tickets is unfortunately not possible. Of course, the ticket price will be refunded upon return of your original ticket. However, we would also like to ask you to consider making a donation for the continuation of the Handel Festival by not returning your tickets. More detailed information on all modalities will be available here from April 30, 2020. Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Nevertheless, we will try to implement some performances of the 2020 festival into the 100th anniversary year of the 2022 Handel Festival or into the 2023 festival programme. We are not yet able to provide further details.

The programme of the 2021 Handel Festival is already planned. Under the motto "Heroes and Redeemers" the life story of Jesus will be thematized in various events, thus bringing Handel's most famous oratorio "Messiah" to the fore (May 28 to June 13, 2021). In addition to the staged performance of Handel's "Brockes Passion" by the Halle Opera, international stars such as Sandrine Piau, Andreas Scholl, the Tölzer Knabenchor, the Cetra Barockorchester Basel or the Purcell Choir and Orfeo Orchestra from Hungary will be taking part.

We would be very pleased to welcome you to our festival in 2021. Stay with us and above all - stay healthy!

Your Stiftung Händel-Haus