Welcome to the American Handel Society Conference Program, Spring 2021!

We have an exciting lineup of scholarship and performance, happening online between March 11-14th. Highlights include an opening lecture by Dr. Berta Joncus, an invited presentation by Dr. Bruce Alan Brown, a lecture recital by harpsichordist Jonathan Salamon, panels by Handel scholars, and access to current and past performances by the opera program and the Historical Performance Institute at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.

Registration link:

Conference attendees may wish to tune in to the live production of Handel’s Xerxes by IU’s Opera department on March 5-6 at 7:30pm EST, using this link: IUMusicLive! (; information about the production is available here: Xerxes: 2020–21 Productions.

Those who register for the conference will have immediate access to IU’s 2013 production of Xerxes, and to the Historical Performance Institute’s 2019 production of Parnasso in festa. 

In addition, the 2020 performance of Xerxes will be available OnDemand through the conference program book in about 3-4 weeks. We will also be offering archived videos of selected conference presentations for those who are not able to attend “live”–or for those who simply want to revisit this valuable scholarship.

We look forward to seeing you at these exciting events!

Conference Schedule:

The schedule is in EST. Please note: daylight saving time in the US starts on March 14, 2021, and in Europe not until two weeks later.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

3:00pm-5:00pm. Opening Remarks and Howard Serwer Memorial Lecture

Introduction, Wendy Heller

Berta Joncus, “Posterity vs Celebrity: Handel Studies and the 21st Century”

Friday, March 12, 2021

12:00pm-1:30pm. Panel 1, Performance Histories, Performance Practices

Chair, Roger Freitas

Luke Howard, “Boston, Birmingham, and the Reception of Robert Franz’s Edition of Messiah”

Beverly Jerold, “The Musician’s Art and Oratory”

Joseph Lockwood, “Handel’s Messiah in New York City, 1770”

Coffee Break

The Zoom room will remain open for casual conversation among conference attendees

2:00pm-2:45pm. Harpsichord Lecture/Recital

Jonathan Salamon, “Handel’s Vo’ far guerra: Schematic Simplicity, Dextrous Complexity”

3:00pm-4:30pm. Virtual Reception

5:00pm. IU Opera: Handel, Xerxes

Conference Registrants will have access to OnDemand streaming of IU Opera’s 2013 production of Handel’s Xerxes, with Gary Thor Wedow during the conference, and the 2021 production in 3-4 weeks.

In addition, conference registrants will have access to an OnDemand production of Handel’s Parnasso in festa, performed by the IU Historical Performance Institute during the American Handel Festival conference in 2019.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

12:00pm-1:30pm. Panel 2: Intellectual and Cultural Contexts of Handelian Opera and Oratorio

Chair, Robert Ketterer

Miguel Arango Calle, “Landscape, Opera, and Colonialism: Moral and Environmental Difference in Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto (1724)”

Mark Risinger, “Messengers and Musicians: The Literary Tradition, Dramatic Function, and Musical Treatment of Handel’s Angels”

Minji Kim, “From Milton to Hamilton and Handel: Total Eclipse, Judgment, and Enharmonicism in Samson”

Coffee break

The Zoom room will remain open for casual conversation among conference attendees

1:45pm-2:30pm. Roundtable: Handel Studies in the Age of Covid-19

Co-Hosts, Ellen Harris and John Roberts

2:45pm-3:45pm. Invited Lecture

Introduction, Ellen Harris

Bruce Alan Brown, “The gargarismi of Lazzaro Paoli: Singing, Pharmacology, and Castration in Eighteenth-Century Tuscany”

4:15pm. AHS Board Meeting

8:00pm-9:30pm. Concert

Please tune in to IUMusicLive! for a performance by the Historical Performance Institute’s Baroque Orchestra, conducted by Stanley Ritchie

Sunday, March 14, 2021

12:00pm-1:00pm. Panel 3: Representing Women on the Operatic Stage

Chair, Wendy Heller

Regina Compton, “Experiencing Motherhood: The Significance of the Replacement Aria ‘Ah perché’ in the First Revival of Rodelinda (December 1725)”

Paula Maust, “The Ugly Italian Elephants and Pigs in Handel’s London Operas”

Coffee break

The Zoom room will remain open for casual conversation among conference attendees

1:15pm-2:15pm. Panel 4: Off the Record: Recovering the Traces of Music Makers and Music Making

Chair, Ireri Chávez-Bárcenas

Alison C. DeSimone, “Not Found upon the Record”: Female Musical Entrepreneurship in the Eighteenth Century

Graydon Beeks, “Some overtures to be plaied before the first lesson”

2:30pm. Business Meeting (Open to Members of the AHS)

3:00pm-4:00pm. Paul Traver Memorial Concert

IU Historical Performance Institute, Chamber Music Concert (on demand concert)



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