Handel London operas 1

Course Dates: 16/09/20 - 25/11/20
Time: 14:00 - 16:10
Location: Online

Study the cultural history, plots and structure of Handel’s Italian operas written for London audiences between 1720 and 1728. Learn about recitative, aria-types and discover the stories behind these great works. This course has a scheduled break week on 28 October 2020.

This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.


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.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
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.

Tutor Biographies
Edward Breen Tutor Website

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.

This course has now started

Course Code: MD815

Full Wed, day, 16 Sep - 25 Nov '20

Duration: 10 sessions (over 11 weeks)

Full fee: £209.00
Senior fee: £167.00
Concession: £127.00

Call us to check if you can still join the course 020 7492 2630 (depart num)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.