Sunday, 25 November 2012

Delights at the Handel House museum


The January to April season at the Handel House museum has some wonderful events lined up, alongside their new exhibition about Charles Jennens, the librettist to Handel's oratorios. Concerts include Italian opera in England, new work from Kerry Andrews their previous composer-in-residence and the opportunity to sing in Handel's Saul.

Charles Jennens provided Handel with the librettos of two of his finest dramatic oratorios, Saul and Belshazzar as well as compiling the text of Messiah. He was curious and rather difficult person, with rather definite ideas about Handel's music and how his words should be set. His slightly dyspeptic marginalia in Mainwaring's biography of Handel are characteristic, but also very useful to historians.

The exhibition runs from 21 November to 14 April 2013, it has been curated by Ruth Smith the author of Handel's Oratorios and Eighteen-Century Thought and there is a book associated with the exhibition. Events surrounding  the exhibition include Ruth Smith giving the Stanley Sadie Memorial Lecture, the opportunity to sing in excerpts of Saul, coached and conducted by Laurence Cummings with a performance in the Grosvenor Chapel, a commemorative performance of Messiah, walking tours and an introduction to L'Allegro, Il Penseroso ed Il Moderato which is being performed at the London Handel Festival.

Other events include Acarta Baroque in arias from Italian operas in England, Ensemble Baroque in French baroque music for soprano, viola da gamba and harpsichord, music from the courts of Charles I and II, Kerry Andrew's lost river songs inspired by the Museum's location on Brook Street (the site of an old river),  Laurence Cummings and Frederick Haas playing the harpsichord, Gabriela Di Laccio impersonating Handel's divas, music by Sylvius Leopold Weiss (the greatest lutenist of the 18th century), Elizabeth Dobbin in Handel and Purcell plus a number of family events.

Further information from the Handel House museum website.

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