Erin Morley, John Holiday & Joélle Harvey Lead Handel and Haydn Society’s 2023-24 Season

By Francisco Salazar

The Handel and Haydn Society has announced its 2023-24 season, the first under new Artistic Director Jonathan Cohen.

“This season we will make the old new again as our orchestra and chorus approach every piece of music with passion, vitality, and freshness on instruments from the period as the composers intended,” said Jonathan Cohen, Artistic Director of the Handel and Haydn Society. “The notes may have been penned by Bach, Mozart or Beethoven, but the performance is now, immediate and alive.”

For the purposes of this article we will only focus on vocal performances.

Jonathan Cohen conducts Handel’s “Israel in Egypt.”

Performance Dates: Oct. 6 & 8, 2023

For the 170th consecutive year, the organization will celebrate the holiday season with three performances of Händel’s “Messiah.” Jonathan Cohen conducts soloists Joélle Harvey, John Holiday, Stuart Jackson, and José Coca Loza.

Performance Dates: Nov. 24-26, 2023

Associate Conductor Ian Watson will lead the orchestra in a Baroque Christmas. The program will include the H+H premiere of Telemann’s Trumpet Sonata in D Major, Corelli’s Christmas Concerto, Scarlatti’s “Cantata pastorale per la Nativita do Signore Gesu Christo,” Charpentier’s “Noels pour les instruments,” and selections from J.S. Bach’s “Christmas” Oratorio. Soloists include Teresa Wakim and David McFerrin.

Performance Dates: Dec. 14 & 17, 2023

The British Masters will include soloists violinist Rachel Podger and Countertenor Reginald Mobley. The concert consists of the music of Purcell, Handel, and the rarely performed Ignatius Sancho, a composer who was enslaved at birth yet became the first Black man to vote in a British election.

Performance Dates: Feb. 2 & 4, 2024

Harry Christophers returns his first appearance as Conductor Laureate conducting Hildegard von Bingen’s chants “O filie Israhel and Flos campi” as well as two of Raphaella Aleotti’s motets from Song of Songs: “Vidi speciosam” and “Surge propera amica mea.” Christophers also conducts Haydn’s Symphony No. 49, “La passione,” and two works by Mozart: the Coronation Mass and “Vesperae solennes de confessore.” Soloists include Joélle Harvey, Helen Charlston, Aaron Sheehan, and Matthew Brook.

Performance Dates: Feb. 23 + 25, 2024

Guest conductor Raphaël Pichon and H+H take on Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in honor of the 200th anniversary of the 1824 Viennese premiere of the work.

Performance Dates: March 15 & 16, 2024

Bach’s choral masterpiece B Minor Mass will be led by Masaaki Suzuki, founder and music director of the Bach Collegium Japan.

Performance Dates: April 5 & 7, 2024

H+H will perform Brahms’s “A German Requiem” with Bernard Labadie conducting and Erin Morley as a soloist.

Performance Date: April 19 & 21, 2024