Contact: Jean Lotus 708-510-1776 Jean.firstname.lastname@example.org
Brett Fulkerson-Smith 708-310-2076 email@example.com
Oak Park’s Handel Week Festival
Presents 12th Gala Season
February 5, 11, 12 and 20
Photos of performers available
Handel Week Festival celebrates Handel’s 326th birthday week with orchestral masterpieces, breathtaking solo cantatas and “Oratorio: Israel in Egypt”.
Oak Park’s Handel Week Festival presents its 12th successful season of don’t-miss performances of the works of the beloved baroque composer.
Performed in the acoustically exceptional Grace Episcopal Church (924Lake Street, Oak Park) the Handel Week Festival presents three extraordinary selections from Handel’s prolific and varied repertoire.
Concert I: The Grand Handel: Orchestra Alive!
Saturday, February 5, 2011, 7:30 PM (pre-concert lecture begins at 7 pm)
As is our tradition, this concert features our remarkable Handel Week Festival orchestra and orchestral soloists in compositions every bit as virtuosic and demanding as Bach’s Brandenburg Concerti, namely the famous HandelConcerti Grossi.
It will combine a virtuoso organ concerto, a demanding cantata for alto and string orchestra, and two concerto grossi. This year we will present two master works the HWV 315 concerto grosso in F major, and the HWV 316 in d minor. Long-time Handel Week favorite Sarah Gartshore will be the featured soloist.
Our audiences have always loved, as Handel’s audiences loved, the thrill of an organ concerto, so this year we are presenting the Organ Concerto 307 in A. Handel Week welcomes David Shrader, nationally-renowned keyboardist.
In his early period, Handel wrote a significant number of secular cantatas, and though most are simply for soprano, cello and harpsichord, some are more elaborate. We are pleased this year to present the Cantata Carco sempre di Gloria HWV 87 for alto, strings and basso continuo.
Concert II: Ah, Cruel Love! Ah, Cruel Fate! or Chamber Rejoicings and Laments on Love and Life
Friday, February 11 & Saturday, February 12, 2011, 7:30 PM
(pre-concert lecture begins at 7 pm)
We present TWO performances of our long-anticipated chamber cantata concert.Ah, Cruel Love! Ah, Cruel Fate!, or Chamber Rejoicings and Laments on Love and Lifefeature the soprano soloists Rosalind Lee and Nicci Krebasch singing cantatas Del bel idolo mio HWV 104, Notte placida e cheta HWV 142, Tu fedel? Tu costante? HWV 171,and Poichè giuraro amore. Two of these cantatas feature our superb concertmaster Thomas Yang and Handel Week festival favorite Jeri Lou Zike. Rounding out the program is Handel family treasure Erik Liefrinck playing one suite and one partita.
Concert III: Back by Popular Demand: ISRAEL IN EGYPT
Oratorio: Israel in Egypt, HWV 54
Sunday, February 20, 2011, 3:00 PM (pre-concert lecture begins at 2:30 pm)
Here in one monumental work, set in the hands of an eight-part chorus, is the panoramic story of the plagues of Egypt and the adventure of the children of Israel and their difficulties with the Pharoah. Under the magical genius of Handel’s compositional pen we hear plagues of locusts, hailstones and blood. We hear sighing, battle, dancing and triumph. Handel treats us to frogs, man-of-wars, and supple duets of passion. This is a master composer at his very highest level of achievement! For your delectation, we are thrilled to present this spectacular, wonderful and amazing work!
Handel Week is the only organization in Chicago dedicated to the music of George Frideric Handel (b. Feb. 23, 1685- d. 1759). Handel Week is now extended to four performances in three consecutive weeks. Conceived a dozen years ago by its founders, Dr. Dennis E. Northway and Charles Chauncey Wells, as the western suburbs' answer to the highly successful Bach Week Festival in Evanston, Handel Week stands alone as one of Chicago's best sources for top-quality, professional performances of Handel's music.
All Handel Week performances include a pre-concert lecture and post-concert reception. The festival offers free parking in an adjacent lighted lot and free admission for children and teens between the ages of 8-18. Subscriptions and single tickets for Handel Week Festival 2011 are on sale now at the Handel Week box office (708) 383-2261. More information is available at www.handelweek.com.
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