Donate now to support your one-stop classical music destination

Your contribution powers the wonder of classical music
Donate

Composers Datebook®

with host John Birge

Sunday, January 10

Handel in London

Synopsis

Today, we note two anniversaries concerning Handel and his music in London.

On today’s date in 1710, the German-born composer’s music was performed in London for the very first time when excerpts from his opera “Rodrigo” were used as incidental music during a revival of Ben Jonson’s comic play “The Alchemist,” written 100 years earlier.

It’s a nice historical touch that in addition to writing satirical comedies like “The Alchemist,” Ben Jonson had supplied the poetic texts for elaborate masques staged at the court of King James the First. Masques were a kind of precursor of the lavish Baroque operas like Handel’s “Rodrigo” which debuted in Italy just three years before its tunes were recycled for use on the British stage.

By 1713, the vogue for Italian operas had reached London, and Handel himself was on hand to write and stage them. On today’s date in 1713, Handel’s opera “Teseo” had its premiere at the Queen’s Theater in London. And, just to show that off-stage events could prove every bit as dramatic as those on-stage, the theater manager, a certain Owen Swiney, ran off to Italy with the box office receipts after the second night’s performance!

Music Played in Today's Program

George Frederic Handel (1685 – 1757) Bourrée from Rodrigo Hallé Orchestra; Sir John Barbirolli, cond. EMI 63956

George Frederic Handel (1685 – 1757) Overture to Teseo The English Concert;Trevor Pinnock, cond. Archiv 419 219

Additional Information

{"airdates":[{"id":27011,"date":"2021-01-10","listen":"apm-audio:/composers_datebook/2021/01/10/datebook_20210110_128.mp3","updated_at":"2020-12-02T17:00:00.000Z","episode":{"id":8763,"synopsis":"Handel in London","additional":"","body":"Today, we note two anniversaries concerning Handel and his music in London.\r\n\r\nOn today’s date in 1710, the German-born composer’s music was performed in London for the very first time when excerpts from his opera “Rodrigo” were used as incidental music during a revival of Ben Jonson’s comic play “The Alchemist,” written 100 years earlier.\r\n\r\nIt’s a nice historical touch that in addition to writing satirical comedies like “The Alchemist,” Ben Jonson had supplied the poetic texts for elaborate masques staged at the court of King James the First. Masques were a kind of precursor of the lavish Baroque operas like Handel’s “Rodrigo” which debuted in Italy just three years before its tunes were recycled for use on the British stage.\r\n\r\nBy 1713, the vogue for Italian operas had reached London, and Handel himself was on hand to write and stage them. On today’s date in 1713, Handel’s opera “Teseo” had its premiere at the Queen’s Theater in London. And, just to show that off-stage events could prove every bit as dramatic as those on-stage, the theater manager, a certain Owen Swiney, ran off to Italy with the box office receipts after the second night’s performance!\r\n","playdate":"1972-01-10","pieces":[{"composer":"George Frederic Handel (1685 – 1757)","title":"Bourrée from Rodrigo","performer":"Hallé Orchestra; Sir John Barbirolli, cond.","catalog":"EMI 63956"},{"composer":"George Frederic Handel (1685 – 1757)","title":"Overture to Teseo","performer":"The English Concert;Trevor Pinnock, cond.","catalog":"Archiv 419 219"}],"links":[{"title":"On Handel's life and works","href":"http://gfhandel.org/"},{"title":"On Handel's house in London","href":"https://handelhendrix.org/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI2rjEgOib2AIVEJd-Ch14WACUEAAYASAAEgK4hfD_BwE"}],"airdates":[{"id":19169,"date":"2012-01-10","listen":"apm-audio:/composers_datebook/2012/01/10/datebook_20120110_128.mp3"},{"id":20264,"date":"2009-01-10","listen":"apm-audio:/composers_datebook/2009/01/10/datebook_20090110_128.mp3"},{"id":21360,"date":"2006-01-10","listen":"apm-audio:/composers_datebook/2006/01/10/datebook_20060110_128.mp3"},{"id":22456,"date":"2003-01-10","listen":"apm-audio:/composers_datebook/2003/01/10/datebook_20030110_128.mp3"},{"id":22742,"date":"2015-01-10","listen":"apm-audio:/composers_datebook/2015/01/10/datebook_20150110_128.mp3"},{"id":24675,"date":"2018-01-10","listen":"apm-audio:/composers_datebook/2018/01/10/datebook_20180110_128.mp3"},{"id":27011,"date":"2021-01-10","listen":"apm-audio:/composers_datebook/2021/01/10/datebook_20210110_128.mp3"}]}}],"meta":{"start_date":"2021-01-10","end_date":"2021-01-10"}}

Before you go...

Each day, John gladly shares his passion for music with you. The knowledge that he offers, and the stories he shares through Composers Datebook is made possible with your support. Please, take 2 minutes and make a gift today for your 2 minutes of daily music knowledge.