"I cannot sufficiently express the kind treatment I receive here, but the Politeness of this generous Nation cannot be unknown to you, so I let you judge of the satisfaction I enjoy, passing my time with Honour, Profit and Pleasure".
Handel wrote these words to the librettist Charles Jennens (known for his work on the libretto for ‘Messiah’) in 1741, during his time in Dublin. The city afforded him a period of artistic rehabilitation during which he re-worked several of his pieces for Dublin performances, including ‘Esther’, ‘L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato’ & ‘Acis and Galatea’.
Handel’s visit to Dublin will forever be associated with the first performance of Messiah at Fishamble Street in 1742. This monumental work has gone on to become one of the greatest and best loved works of Western Art Music, to the extent that it has eclipsed Handel’s other significant achievements during his stay in the stay in the capital. Join us to discover a fuller picture of Handel’s Dublin in the ‘Walking Tour’ feature found on this website and our YouTube page.
The Office of Public Works have been generous in allowing us to use their spaces this year, giving us the opportunity to perform Handel’s music in surroundings with which it resonates. We are fortunate to enjoy regular support from Arts Council Ireland, without whom our work would not be possible.
The Dublin HandelFest is a gift from the Irish Baroque Orchestra to the city of Dublin. It is an opportunity to enjoy and reclaim this small but important chapter in the city’s cultural heritage, and we hope that you will celebrate it with us for years to come.
Peter Whelan & Aliye Cornish
Artistic Director & Chief Executive Officer
Irish Baroque Orchestra