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Commentary

14 May 2019

The London Handel Festival and The Royal Opera announce a co-production of Handel’s Susanna starring members of The Royal Opera’s Jette Parker Young Artists Programme

The London Handel Festival and The Royal Opera today [14 May 2019] announced a co-production of Handel’s oratorio Susanna as part of the 2020 London Handel Festival. The new production, performed in English in the Linbury Theatre [5 - 14 March 2020], will star members and Link Artists from The Royal Opera’s Jette Parker Young Artists Programme. Handel’s Susanna was written for Covent Garden and had its premiere on the site in 1749, but has not been performed at Covent Garden since.

Samir Savant, Festival Director of the London Handel Festival, said: ‘We are delighted to be working again with the Royal Opera House after the acclaimed success of Berenice in this year’s London Handel Festival. The Linbury Theatre is the perfect setting for Susanna, and we look forward to working with the Jette Parker Young Artists. The scheme provides outstanding opportunities for young talent, which is in line with our major aim to encourage and promote the next generation of performers’.

Director Isabelle Kettle, who joins the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme from the 2019/20 Season, makes her Royal Opera directing debut with Susanna. Patrick Milne, who joined the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme in September 2018, will make his Linbury Theatre conducting debut with Susanna.

The cast is led by South African soprano Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha who takes the title role. Chilean soprano Yaritza Véliz sings Daniel, Scottish-Iranian bass-baritone Michael Mofidian sings Chelsias and Judge, and Uruguayan tenor Andrés Presno sings the First Elder. American countertenor Patrick Terry, who came second in the 2019 Handel Singing Competition, sings Susanna’s husband Joacim. Terry recently made his Royal Opera debut singing the role of Arsace in Berenice, the first co-production between the London Handel Festival and The Royal Opera. The remainder of the cast are two Link Artists of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme: April Koyejo-Audiger and Blaise Malaba, making their Royal Opera debuts.

The London Handel Festival today also announces three further concerts this year following the success of the 2019 Festival. The three concerts will all take place at St George’s Hanover Square, Handel’s own church. On 18 June the London Handel Orchestra and Pegasus Choir perform Handel’s Choice of Hercules and Bach’s Magnificat, conducted by Adrian Butterfield. The soloists are Joanne Lunn, Anna Dennis, Patrick Terry, Laurence Killsby and Hugo Herman-Wilson. September sees the annual Handel Singing Competition showcase, featuring Laurence Cummings and the 2019 finalists. Completing the year is the Festival’s annual presentation of Handel’s Messiah, performed by the London Handel Orchestra and the Choir of St George’s.

The full programme of the 2020 London Handel Festival, ‘Handel and the Hanoverians’ will be announced later this year.

Susanna cast
All cast are members of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme, or JPYAP Link Artists
Patrick Milne conductor
Isabelle Kettle director

Masabene Cecilia Rangwanasha Susanna
Patrick Terry Joacim
Yaritza Véliz Daniel
April Koyejo-Audiger Attendant
Michael Mofidian Chelsias and Judge
Andrés Presno First Elder
Blaise Malaba Second Elder

www.london-handel-festival.com

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