What is the course about?
This course offers a survey of Handel’s operatic output written for Royal Academy of Music, the organization which attempted to establish Italian opera in Georgian London. During this online course we will study selected topics in Handel’s life, his choices of libretto, his operatic scores and the circumstances surrounding their production. This course is part 1 of a musical odyssey through Handel’s Italian language operas for part 2 see course MD816.
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?
- The founding of the Royal Academy of Music
- Handel’s biography to c.1720-1728 through source readings, images and current scholarship
- Developments in Handel's musical style
- Extracts from Handel's operas: Radamisto to Tolomeo
- Social, political and religious context of Handel's operas
- Handel’s librettists.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Understand key elements of Handelian opera: structure, aria type, voice type
- Understand the changing circumstances of operatic performance
- Relate the operas to key developments in English social culture
- Make a more informed assessment of Handel's musical achievements.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is suitable for absolute beginners. However, we will look at some music scores (both handwritten and printed) and learn to identify key features of music notation (e.g. how many singers, or orchestral parts), so this will be suitable for those who are curious and ambitious to learn. We will also explore the writings of Handel’s contemporaries (letters, diaries, newspaper announcements).
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 (google meets) 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?
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.