Handel Festival blends baroque and beats – newsChoral ensemble Festival Voices are joining forces with DJ and producer Nico Bentley for an innovative reimagining of classic works by baroque composer George Frederick Handel.

Handel Remixed II will take place in Peckham’s cultural capital, Copeland Park, as a one-off event in partnership with the London Handel Festival on Saturday 3 October.

Musical Director Gregory Batsleer will conduct Festival Voices and Ensemble FV in a genre bending programme of choral-electronic mixology featuring Handelian choruses and arias from the Coronation Anthems, Jephtha and Tamerlano.

Festival Voices was co-founded by conductor Gregory Batsleer in 2017 with a mission to bring bold, collaborative choral music to new audiences in unexpected venues, challenging conventions and innovating tradition.

“Many of the composers Festival Voices perform were considered radicals and eccentrics in their time, who pushed the boundaries and redefined the music of the era,” notes Gregory Batsleer. “By taking choral music out of its usual context and cross-genre collaboration, I hope we are continuing this tradition and in doing so bringing choral music to a whole new audience.”

This event follows Festival Voices’ debut at the London Handel Festival in 2019 and is rescheduled from earlier this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

“Without doubt the standout features of the baroque repertoire are a fixation of both rhythm and pulse, plus they love a solid harmonic progression. This is also the backbone of all electronic music,” says Nico Bentley.

“The fusing together of two genres like this is both an exciting and thrilling opportunity to experiment and explore how the fundaments of music haven’t changed for over 500 years. The style of Handel’s music lends itself brilliantly to incorporating beats commonly heard in clubs throughout the world.”

The performance will take place at 4pm, repeated at 7pm, with around 120 tickets available for each performance. The event will be COVID-safe with full audience guidelines published on the Festival Voices and London Handel Festival websites. Tickets are released today priced at £20. For more information and to buy tickets visit https://www.festivalvoices.com

Full programme:

  • Zadok the Priest (Coronation Anthems)
  • Eternal Source of Light Divine (Ode to Queen Anne)
  • Chorus of the Babylonians (Belshazzar)
  • Ombra mai fu (Serse)
  • How Dark, o Lord, are thy decrees (Jephtha)
  • Nel mondo e nell’abisso (Tamerlano)
  • A suoi piedi (Tamerlano)
  • The King Shall Rejoice (Coronation Anthems)  ​

You can follow Festival Voices on Facebook and Twitter.


Words by Paul Clarke, you can see his author profile here.

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