Handel and Haydn Society Present Bach’s Easter Oratorio

(Boston) Esteemed Italian conductor Rinaldo Alessandrini joins the Handel and Haydn Society for the award-winning organization’s performances of Bach’s Easter Oratorio. The Gramophone award winner and Grammy nominee will be front and center March 31 + April 2, 2023, at Symphony Hall in Boston. The concerts will also include Antonio Bononcini’s Stabat Mater. For both the Easter Oratorio and Stabat Mater, H+H will be joined by a phenomenal group of soloists including Italians Silvia Frigato, Anna Bonitatibus, Gabriele Lombardi and American Ben Bliss who returns to H+H following his debut with the organization in Messiah in November 2022.

Soprano Frigato, mezzo-soprano Bonitatibus, tenor Bliss and bass Lombardi will guide audiences through a powerful range of emotions, from the laments to the joys the Easter Oratorio evokes. First performed in 1725, the Oratorio features the melancholy Adagio and the triumphant four-part closing chorus in which Bach masterly crafts the Easter story into music.

The concerts begin with Antonio Bononcini emotionally moving Stabat Mater. Born in Italy in 1677, Bononcini was a cellist and composer known for his operas and cantatas. Alessandrini is very familiar with Stabat Mater, gaining high praise from Gramophone for his 2012 recording of the piece with Concerto Italiano.

“The expressive arias of Stabat Mater cleverly contrasted with the diverse choral movements make this an unforgettable work that Alessandrini has already proven he is a master of,” David Snead, Philip and Marjorie Gerdine President and CEO of the Handel and Haydn Society. “Bononcini is the perfect pairing for the Easter Oratorio, both performed with expertise in the historically informed styles the composers intended.”

Rinaldo Alessandrini is renowned as a conductor and recitalist on the harpsichord, fortepiano and organ. Alessandrini has recorded many award-winning albums as founder of Italian early music ensemble Concerto Italiano. He performs across Europe, North America and Asia, and is in demand to direct leading international orchestras. He is the recipient of five Gramophone Awards, two Grand Prix du Disque, three Deutscher Schallplattenpreis, Prix Caecilia, the Premio Cini and four Midem Awards in Cannes.

H+H collaborated with MassArt this season for Your Project Bach: Easter Oratorio. Under the instruction of MassArt faculty members, students in the Illustration Department created works of visual art inspired by Bach’s Easter Oratorio. Several of the students’ works will be on display prior to both shows and during intermission at Symphony Hall. Students will price their work and have the opportunity to sell it to H+H patrons.

The Handel and Haydn Society first partnered with the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2012. Each year students at MassArt, with the help of musicians and staff at H+H, create beautiful and engaging works that bring new life to classical and baroque works.

The 2022-23 Season

Mozart + Mendelssohn                         March 17 + 19                      NEC’s Jordan Hall

Bach Easter Oratorio                             March 31 + April 2               Symphony Hall

Crossing the Deep                                     June 1 + 4                             JFK Presidential Library and Museum

The Handel and Haydn Society recently announced the 2023-24 season, the 209th in the organization’s history and the first full season for Artistic Director Jonathan Cohen.

The 2023-24 Season

Israel in Egypt                                     October 6 + 8                          Symphony Hall

Luks Leads Beethoven                        October 27 + 29                      Symphony Hall

Handel’s Messiah                                November 24 + 25 + 26          Symphony Hall

Baroque Christmas                             December 14 + 17                  NEC’s Jordan Hall

The British Masters                             February 2 + 4                         NEC’s Jordan Hall

Harry, Haydn + Mozart                       February 23 + 25                     Symphony Hall

Beethoven 9                                        March 15 + 16                         Symphony Hall

Bach + Telemann                                March 22 + 24                         NEC’s Jordan Hall

Bach B Minor Mass                             April 5 + 7                                Symphony Hall

Brahms Requiem                                April 19 + 21                            Symphony Hall

Brandenburg Concertos                     May 2 + 3 + 4                          Sanders Theatre
NEC’s Jordan Hall

Subscription packages are available and may be purchased by calling 617-262-1815 or visiting handelandhaydn.org.

About the Handel and Haydn Society

Boston’s Grammy-winning Handel and Haydn Society is dedicated to performing Baroque and Classical music with a freshness, a vitality, and a creativity that inspires all ages. H+H has been captivating audiences for 208 consecutive seasons (the most of any performing arts organization in the United States). Today, H+H’s Orchestra and Chorus delight more than 50,000 listeners annually with a nine-week subscription series at Boston Symphony Hall and other leading venues. Through the Karen S. and George D. Levy Education Program, H+H supports seven youth choirs of singers in grades 2-12 and provides thousands of complimentary tickets to students and communities throughout Boston, ensuring the joy of music is accessible to all. H+H’s numerous free community concerts include an annual commemoration of the original 1863 Emancipation Proclamation concert on December 31. H+H has released 16 CDs on the Coro label and has toured nationally and internationally. In all these ways, H+H fulfills its mission to inspire the intellect, touch the heart, elevate the soul, and connect us with our shared humanity through transformative experiences with Baroque and Classical music.

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