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Handel Halle Festival

The Handel Festival in Halle is the only festival in Germany to take place at authentic venues such as the Handel House, the Cathedral, the Market Church and many more. No other baroque music festival offers 5 to 6 staged baroque opera productions in just 17 days and shows the entire range of Handel’s oeuvre; his work enters into a dialogue with jazz, classic rock and electro sounds as well as non-European music within the framework of bridge-building. Also, Halle (Saale), often underestimated, is a beautiful place to visit.

About the festival

From 26 May to 11 June 2023 in the city of George Frideric Handel’s birth, the Handel Festival will be celebrating every facet of Baroque music with a sparkling array of events ranging from grand opera, solemn oratorios and prestigious gala concerts through to cross-genre formats.

The title of the 2023 Handel Festival is “Opera: Dispute over Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee”. And this is reflected in the programme, which includes a total of six opera productions. The festival will open with a new production of the opera Serse (HWV 40), which begins with Handel’s famous first aria, Ombra mai fu. Numerous other operas, oratorios and concerts will make this 17-day festival a highpoint for early music fans. Enriching the festival programme are numerous events featuring other genres of music and new concert formats that call musical boundaries into question and take visitors on musical voyages of discovery. Following the anniversary year of 2022, which celebrated “100 Years of the Handel Festival in Halle”, numerous well-known stars of the Baroque scene, including quite a few past Handel Prize laureates, will be tuning up for the start of a new century of the Handel Festival.

Where is it?

Handel Festival Halle is the largest music festival in the state of Saxony-Anhalt and one of the oldest and most famous Baroque music festivals in Europe. Nowhere else in the world do lovers of Baroque music have the opportunity to experience so many stage and concert productions of Baroque opera in the space of just 17 days. One special feature of the Handel Festival in Halle is that a number of different events take place in authentic Handel venues.

How to get there?

By plane: The nearest airports to the Handel Festival Halle are Berlin and Leipzig/Halle.

By train: There is an excellent train connection between Berlin and Halle (Saale).

Local transport: Most hotels and festival locations are within walking distance from Halle (Saale) main station.


“Music in authentic venues” is the slogan of the Halle Handel Festival, during which the whole city will once again be turned into a stage. Ceremonies and concerts will take place at the Handel monument and the Red Tower, as well as different churches in the city. The festival will also include open-air performances on Marktplatz, the Botanical Garden, as well as on board the MS Händel II.  The closing concert will take place in the Galgenberg Gorge, where the centenary will be celebrated with a grand fireworks display!

But besides these new, innovative formats, tradition continues to loom large at the Handel Festival. Several concerts make reference to the festival’s roots, taking place in the banqueting hall of the Leopoldina, in the Löwengebäude, Ulrichskirche, as well as to the large-scale church concert in Moritzkirche.

Dress code

There is no specific dress code. Due to the variety of events you might want to take some casual and some elegant clothing, if you plan to visit several events. The weather in Halle in May/June tends to be changeable, and not too hot – from 11°C to 22°C.

What can tourists visit nearby?

Halle (Saale) offers a lot of attractions for visitors: the famous Castles Moritzburg (an art museum) and Giebichenstein (an art college), the beautiful Saale island “Peißnitz”, the Francke Foundations’ baroque architecture and historical collections, the romantic Renaissance cemetery Stadtgottesacker and, of course, the Handel Monument on Market square and Handel’s birthplace nearby: the Handel House and museum.

Local accommodation

Halle (Saale) has a few hotels, which normally accommodate the Festival guests and visitors. As the Handel Festival is a magnet for visitors, we recommend booking far ahead in advance.

Food & drink

Apart from Walking Dinner and Lunchtime concerts there are no restaurants onsite, but lots in town to be explored. It is usually recommended to book in advance. 

The Saale-Unstrut-area is a region for quality wine and one of Europe’s northernmost traditional wine regions. In March 2022 the restaurant “Speiseberg” has been awarded with a star of the “Guide Michelin”.