What is the course about?
This course offers a survey of Handel’s ‘Second Academy’ operas written during a period of collaboration with the impresario Johann Jacob Heidegger and his later operas at Covent Garden. During this course we will study selected topics in Handel’s life, his choices of libretto, his operatic scores and the circumstances surrounding their production.
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 biography to c.1729-1741 through source readings, images and current scholarship
- Handel relationship to a rival company: the Opera of the Nobility
- Developments in Handel's operaic style 1729-41
- Extracts from Handel's operas: Partenope, Poro, Orlando, Ariodante, Alcina and Deidamia
- 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?
Sessions will 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 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.