In Focus Display: Handel’s operas 'Teseo' and 'Imeneo'

25 January 2013 - 19 May 2013, 10:00 - 17:00

Free with Museum admission. Booking not required.

In December 1712 Handel completed his opera Teseo, and its first performance took place at the Queen's Theatre in the Haymarket, just three weeks later in January 1713. A display in the Handel Gallery includes the earliest surviving manuscript of the opera, which has suffered fire damage at some point in the last 300 years but remarkably has no damage to the music. Other exhibits include early manuscripts and a contract signed by the impresario Heidegger and several singers, relating to their benefit concerts, which was acquired by the Gerald Coke Handel Foundation in 2011. 

To coincide with the London Handel Festival’s staging of Imeneo, a manuscript of this opera, copied by one of Handel’s regular circle of copyists soon after the first performance in 1740, and formerly owned by the Earl of Shaftesbury, is on display along with an early edition of the popular songs.

Images: John James Heidegger by John Faber jr after the portrait by Jean Baptiste van Loo and Manuscript document by Heidegger relating to benefit performances for singers in 1714. Gerald Coke Handel Foundation

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