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ASU Herberger College celebrates Discovering Handel


January 22, 2008

TEMPE, Ariz. – The ASU Herberger College School of Music, the Lyric Opera Theater Guild, the Phoenix Public Library and the ASU Art Museum present Discovering Handel. The series includes concerts, recitals, productions, lectures and an exhibition celebrating George Frideric Handel, Feb. 6 - March 9 at the ASU Tempe campus and various valley locations.

In his own time, Handel was best known as an impresario who composed lavish operas and then organized and conducted the companies that performed them. He wrote and produced over 40 such works, all larger-than-life treatments of mythological and historical subjects.

“George Frideric Handel is probably the greatest composer you never knew,” says David Schildkret, chair of the ASU Herberger College Choral program. “For many music connoisseurs, Handel means only one or two pieces -- the Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah or the Hornpipe, from the Water Music. Discovering Handel gives you a chance to explore more facets of one of the defining geniuses of Western music,” he says.

The Discovering Handel series includes a symposium at the Phoenix Public Library, an art exhibit, a daylong encounter with Handel’s music, concerts of instrumental music, and performances of two of Handel’s greatest masterworks, opera Giulio Cesare and a rare uncut performance of Messiah. For a complete list of event, registration and ticket information, visit http://music.asu.edu/handel. All events in the series are FREE unless otherwise noted.

  • Feb. 9, Admission is by reservation only by Jan. 29 
    The Lyric Opera Theatre Guild preview gives the audience an opportunity to hear selections from Handel’s Guilio Cesare, to meet the directors, and cast in an informal setting. Luncheon will be served. Contact Barbara Daniel 480.893.3239 or azlotguild@yahoo.com for admission price information, location and reservations.
  • Feb. 11, 6:30 p.m., Burton Barr Central Library, Pulliam Auditorium, at 1221 North Central Avenue, Phoenix 
    Four members of the ASU faculty explore Handel’s London and various aspects of 18th-century cultural life in one of the world’s great cities. Kent Wright, professor of history, gives an overview of London and its intellectual and creative activity. Anthony Gully, professor of art, speaks about some of the artists of the time, including Handel’s friend, William Hogarth. O.M. Brack, professor of English, discusses Handel’s great contemporary Samuel Johnson and the literary scene in London. David Schildkret, chair of the ASU Choral program, moderates and speaks briefly on Handel’s place in this lively scene.
  • Feb. 16 - May 18 ASU Art Museum, 51 E 10th St., ASU Tempe campus 
    The ASU Art Museum hosts The Art of Handel’s London, a display of prints by Hogarth, Rowlandson, and Cruikshank from ASU’s permanent collection. Among the highlights are an engraving of the famous Hogarth self-portrait, the series The Rake’s Progress, which includes a character reputed to be Handel, and cartoons and drawings of theatrical life in 18th-century London. For more information and museum hours, please call 480.965.2787 or visithttp://asuartmuseum.asu.edu
  • Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m., Organ Hall, School of Music building, 40 E. Gammage Pkwy., ASU Tempe campus 
    The ASU Chamber Orchestra presents Handel Gems, an evening of Handel’s magnificent instrumental works.
  • Feb. 22-23, 29 & March 1, 7:30 p.m., Evelyn Smith Music Theatre, School of Music building, 40 E. Gammage Pkwy., ASU Tempe campus 
    The ASU Herberger College Lyric Opera Theatre presents Giulio Cesare. Handel’s opera is a study of hidden agendas at work during the creation and consolidation of the Roman Empire. Julius Caesar and his noble Romans take on Cleopatra’s Egypt. Egypt is being pulled apart by dynastic intrigue while the Romans are trying to bring their own civil war to an end. Peace in both camps necessitates the absorption of Egypt as a Roman province. Sung in Italian with English supertitles. Tickets are $7-$22 and available at http://herbergercollege.asu.edu/calendar or 480.965.6447.
  • Feb. 26, 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., School of Music building, 40 E. Gammage Pkwy., ASU Tempe campus 
    ASU Herberger College of the Arts hosts Handel Day. Four entertaining and informative events celebrate the composer. Spend the day with students and faculty as they introduce various aspects of Handel’s music. The day primarily is designed for area high school students, but members of the general public are welcome with required advance registration. To register, contact Janet Cape, janet.cape@asu.edu by Feb. 21.
    • Hogarth Looks at Handel’s London: Anthony Gully, professor of art history, presents a live gallery talk on this print exhibit at the ASU Art Museum.
    • Chamber Music Performances: Members of ASU School of Music faculty present some delightful, little-known works by Handel for small instrumental ensembles. Included is Handel’s Overture for Two Clarinets and Horn, which is among the earliest works composed for the clarinet.
    • Handel’s Singers: Robert Barefield, professor of music, introduces the music of three of Handel’s most famous singers: Francesca Cuzzoni, Susannah Cibber, and James Beard. Handel composed an aria especially for each of these three colorful characters, which will be performed by an outstanding ASU voice student.
    • Open Rehearsal: ASU’s premier choral ensemble, the Chamber Singers, prepares for its performance of Messiah and its trip to Anaheim, Calif. for the Western Division Convention of the American Choral Directors Association. Handel Day participants are welcome to attend this rehearsal.
  • March 5, 7 p.m., Evelyn Smith Music Theatre, School of Music building, 40 E. Gammage Pkwy., ASU Tempe campus 
    The ASU Chamber Singers, Chamber Orchestra, and student soloists under the direction of David Schildkret, chair of the ASU Choral program, present an uncut Lenten performance of Handel’s Messiah. This is typical of the ensemble Handel would have used, and it allows the music to shine with clarity and glittering Baroque splendor. Tickets are $7-$12 and available at http://herbergercollege.asu.edu/calendar or 480.965.6447.
  • March 6, 7 p.m., Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 100 W, Roosevelt St., Phoenix 
    The ASU Chamber Singers, Chamber Orchestra, and student soloists under the direction of David Schildkret, chair of the ASU Choral program, present an uncut Lenten performance of Handel’s Messiah. This is typical of the ensemble Handel would have used, and it allows the music to shine with clarity and glittering Baroque splendor. Tickets are $7-$12 and available at http://cathedralcenterforthearts.org
  • March 9, 2:30 p.m., Organ Hall, School of Music building, 40 E. Gammage Pkwy., ASU Tempe campus 
    Kimberly Marshall, Goldman Professor of Organ and School of Music director, presents Going for Baroque! The program of early and late Baroque music features the Fritts and Traeri organs. Included in the program are excerpts from Handel’s organ concertos and fugues, as well as music by Handel’s contemporaries. Tickets are $7-$18 and available at http://herbergercollege.asu.edu/calendar or 480.965.6447.

The School of Music in the Herberger College of the Arts at Arizona State University is ranked 19th in the country and eighth among public institutions by U.S.News & World Report. More than 100 music faculty artists and scholars work with approximately 800 music majors each year in research, performance and scholarly activities. It presents approximately 700 concerts and recitals each year. To learn more about the School of Music, visit http://music.asu.edu.

The ASU Art Museum, named “the single most impressive venue for contemporary art in Arizona” by Art in America, is part of the Herberger College of the Arts at Arizona State University. The museum is located on the southeast corner of Mill Avenue and 10th Street in Tempe and admission is free. Hours are 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Tuesdays (during the academic year), 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. To learn more about the museum, call 480.965.2787 or visithttp://asuartmuseum.asu.edu

Media Contact:
Catherine Bickell 
480.965.3371
Cathy.Bickell@asu.edu