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‘Costly Canaries’ – Mr Handel’s Search for Super-Stars

© Johann Verelst

‘Costly Canaries’ – Mr Handel’s Search for Super-Stars

By 1719, so great was London’s thirst for Opera that its devotees formed a company to keep them coming: The Royal Academy of Music. Chief among its subscribers was King George and in charge was the undisputed King of Opera in London – George Frideric Handel. With Academy funds, Handel set off for the continent, returning with a clutch of singing super-stars – his ‘costly canaries’, including the three divas on whom we focus in this programme. Audiences were ecstatic but, as tensions erupted and finances dwindled, opera mania persisted and the Second Academy was formed, headed again by Handel, now accompanied by Heidegger. A musical ‘happening’ in Handel’s own church follows Handel the composer-impresario, as he outflanks the decline of opera to emerge King of Oratorio.

Musical delights for the 300th anniversary of Handel’s Royal Academy of Music include:

Quando mai, spietata sorte; Ombra cara di mia sposa Radamisto HWV 12
Dimmi, crudele Amore Muzio Scevola HWV 13
Notte cara, deh! riportami’l mio ben Floridante HWV 14
All’orror d’un duolo eterno Ottone HWV 15
Non credo instabile Flavio HWV 16
Priva son d’ogni conforto; La giustizia ha già sull’arco Giulio Cesare HWV 17
Scherza in mar la navicella Lotario HWV 26
L’amor ed il destin Partenope HWV 27
Padre, germano, e sposo di voi Sosarme HWV 30

Hannah Poulsom Margherita Durastanti
Marie Elliott Anastasia Robinson
Anna Gorbachyova-Ogilvie Strada del Pò

London Early Opera

Bridget Cunningham harpsichord & director
Nicolette Moonen leader
Lars Tharp narrator

Ticket Prices: £35,£30, £25, £10, £8 reserved seating

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