Handel: The Philanthropist

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The English Concert join with a star-studded cast to recreate Handel’s legendary first fundraising concert for London’s Foundling Hospital for abandoned children, offering a unique opportunity to marvel at the abundance of his imagination – as well as his good deeds.

Handel was more than a composer of classical hits – he was a humanitarian who raised astonishing amounts of money. In 1749 he gave the first benefit concert for the Foundling Hospital, an event which he repeated every year until the end of his life in 1759.

The players of The English Concert will recreate the concert with historically accurate period instruments, joined with singers from the orchestra’s Spring 2023 Solomon tour.  The programme will feature some of Handel’s most beloved repertoire including the exuberant Music for the Royal Fireworks, a selection from Handel’s oratorio Solomon with the majestic Arrival of the Queen of Sheba as well as the Foundling Hospital Anthem, which includes the words – ‘Blessed are they that considereth the poor and needy’ and which will end with the rousing Hallelujah Chorus.

The concert is produced by The Barbican. The event is presented in partnership with the Coram Foundation, who continue the legacy of the Foundling Hospital. There will be an additional relaxed performance for children with additional needs.


Featured Artists

The English Concert
Harry Bicket – Conductor
Ann Hallenberg – Solomon
Miah Persson, soprano – Solomon’s Queen
Elena Villalón – Queen of Sheba
Brandon Cedel – a Levite
James Way – Zadok
Niamh O’Sullivan – Second harlot

The Clarion Choir
Stevn Fox choir – Artistic Director


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