Handel in Italy: cantatas, sacred music and opera
Time: 14:00 - 16:10
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: MD815
Duration: 10 sessions (over 11 weeks)
What is the course about?
Handel's formative time in Italy from 1706 to 1709 enabled him to develop the fluid and brilliant vocal and instrumental style that blended with his German contrapuntal background to delight future audiences. At the Florentine court, he composed his first opera on Italian soil, dallied with the Prince's mistress, and produced major works, both sacred and secular, including works too private for publication that we will examine in this course. Further travels to Rome, Naples and Venice culminated in the triumph of his comic opera “Agrippina” which gained Handel lasting fame as “Il Caro Sassone.”.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- Handel’s earliest operas: Alimira, Rodrigo, Agrippina
- Italian Oratorio / church music: Dixit Dominus, Il trionfo del tempo e del Disinganno
- Cantatas and their librettists:
- Features of Italian instrumentation.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Appreciate the influence of Italian music c1700 on Handel’s music
- Understand the timeline of Handel’s Italian travels.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The course is suitable for students at all levels, and no special skills are needed. However, we will look at some music manuscripts and learn to identify key features of music notation (how many voices are singing, etc…) so this course will be most suitable for those who are curious and ambitious to learn.
Translations of Italian texts will be provided.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
This is an online course:
- Sessions will be held via video-conference (zoom) and comprise combinations of lecture, discussion, quizzes, guided listening, video and score study.
- Course materials (handouts, scores, links to online videos) will be shared via google classroom.
- You will be encouraged to do extra reading outside class.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You will need a good internet connection and a computer with microphone & webcam. If using a tablet it will need a screen large enough for you to comfortably view the class handouts.
You may also wish to purchase some of the music books or recordings discussed in class, links to these materials will be available online after each session.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
We recommend MD816 Handel in Ireland
To find out more about music history classes Music history courses in London and online which lists our full programme of classes ordered by term, and by day of the week. You may then click on each title to read the full course outline.
Edward teaches music history and music theory at City lit where he is Head of Programme: Advanced Studies in the School of Performing Arts. His specialism is early music (medieval, renaissance and baroque periods) and he completed his PhD in historical musicology at King's College London (2013) on the performance of medieval music. Outside of teaching, Edward is a regular contributor to Gramophone magazine and has lectured for Dartington International Summer School, London's Southbank Centre and The British Library. He has also worked as a researcher for BBC Proms and written for the journal Early Music (OUP). His recent essays are published in: The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Historical Performance in Music, (Cambridge University Press); The Montpellier Codex: Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Music 16 (Boydell Press); Recomposing the Past: Representations of Early Music on Stage and Screen (Ashgate 2018); and 30-Second Classical Music (Ivy Press).
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.