The 26-year-old Handel scored a sensation in 1711 with his first London opera, Rinaldo. A year later he settled permanently in the English capital, already the largest city in the world. As a contemporary noted: ‘His return to London was hailed by the musical world as a national acquisition, and every measure was adopted to make his abode pleasant and permanent.’ Indeed it was. Handel immediately became the de facto resident composer of the Haymarket opera company and Queen Anne granted him an annual pension of £200, an arrangement continued by George I. Long before he took British citizenship in 1727 he was being acclaimed as Purcell’s undisputed successor as Britain’s national composer.
The day begins at Baker Street and thence, via the Jubilee Line, to St Lawrence’s Church in Whitchurch, rebuilt for Handel’s patron James Brydges, the future Duke of Chandos. There is a short organ recital here. Then to Bloomsbury and the remarkable hall of the Foundling Hospital which holds the Gerald Coke Handel collection of manuscripts, music and books. The remarkable hall is where Handel’s own performances of the Messiah raised huge sums for the hospital.
As well as being the original setting for Handel’s resplendent Coronation Anthems in 1727 and his funeral music for Queen Caroline, Westminster Abbey is Handel’s place of burial, beneath the magnificent Roubiliac monument.
From the composer’s own parish church, St George’s in Hanover Square to the Handel House Museum in Brook Street, where the composer lived from 1723 to his death, houses inter alia a superb collection of Handel-related paintings.
9.30am at Baker Street Underground station.
c.5.30pm at Handel House. The nearest Underground station is Green Park.
£225. This includes refreshments, lunch, travel by Underground and taxi, and special arrangements.
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Participants need to be able to cope with busy Underground journeys and a considerable time on foot; standing and walking.
Are you fit enough to join the tour?
Maximum 18 participants.
We will return the full amount if you notify us 22 or more days before the event. We will retain 50% if cancellation is made within three weeks and 100% if within three days. Please put your cancellation in writing to email@example.com. We advise taking out insurance in case of cancellation and recommend that overseas clients are also covered for possible medical and repatriation costs.
Combine the day with: The London Backstreet Walk Wednesday 2 October 2019 or Sacred Music in Santiago 28 September–2 October 2019.
'A very full and very satisfying day, as one would expect from Martin Randall. Most enjoyable.'
'Excellent; the lecturer made the tour delightful. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole day.'
'A very interesting and enjoyable day, faultlessly executed as always.'