Handel in Ireland
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: MD816
Duration: 10 sessions (over 11 weeks)
What is the course about?
This course considers the late operatic works of Handel, his most famous work Messiah, also the oratorio Samson and a selection of keyboard works in their historical and social contexts in order to deepen your understanding of his transition from opera-composer to oratorio.
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 comedies of opera seria in Handel’s post-academy years: Xexes and Deidamia
- The biographical details of Handel’s trip to Ireland in both primary and secondary sources
- Handel’s Irish performances: Messiah will be studied in depth over two weeks
- The oratorio Samson will be surveyed
- Settings of Handel’s music by other composers and works of Irish keyboard composers
- Handel’s return to London and his oratorio Semele.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- understand key elements of Handelian opera.
- understand the changing circumstances of operatic performance
- feel confident in exploring Handel biography during the early 1740s
- know how to access more information about Handel online including scores and biographical information
- recognise key features of the works listed above
- demonstrate a detailed understanding of Handel’s Messiah.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is suitable for absolute beginners but it is recommended that you already enjoy listening to Handel’s music. Note that we will look at music scores (both handwritten and printed) to identify key features of music notation, so this will be suitable for those who are curious and ambitious to learn although you are not expected to read music. We will also explore the writings of Handel’s contemporaries (letters, diaries, novels and newspaper publications).
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Sessions will comprise combinations of lecture, question-and-answer, quizzes, guided listening, video and score study. You may wish to do extra reading outside class and there will be an informal ‘open book’ quiz towards the end of the course. There will also be Spotify and Youtube playlists for this course if you wish to do extra listening.
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.