This year’s Handel Festival at Göttingen has a new president, the result of internal political changes in Lower Saxony. Last year, the state’s minister-president Christian Wulff was upgraded to president of the German nation. His replacement, as both Saxon ruler and Handel festival chief, is a conservative CDU politician by name of David McAllister, a 39 year-old lawyer and member of the Volkswagen board.
McAllister has yet to come to prominence outside state boundaries, but it’s only a matter of time. He’s the first leading German politician in memory to be half-British – his father was a Glaswegian civil servant attached to the Royal Corps of Signals in West Berlin – and David is fluently bilingual and holds both nationalities. He took his bride to Loch Ness in August 2003 and got married in a kilt. Some speak of him as a future German chancellor.
More interesting at the moment is his personification of the German-British duality of George Frideric Handel who, though raised in Halle, was tied to the Hanoverians of Lower Saxony, who went on to become Kings and Queens of England. David McAllister brings out a welcome British streak in the all-German Handel Festival of Göttingen, unifying its disparities. I’ll let him stand me a drink the next time I’m there.