The confused emotions and relations of the persons at her court, revolving around Almira herself as the principal figure, form the action of the opera. At the end of it all, she marries the man whom she loves. This is unhappy news for Almira, whose heart belongs to her secretary Fernando, a youth of unknown origin. Although Osman is pleased at the prospect of the royal wedding he vows to remain true to his beloved Edilia.

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The arias are from the oratorio Hercules and the opera Tamerlano. Displayed by permission of The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved. He wrote the most famous of all oratorios, Messiah , and is also known for such occasional pieces as Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks George Frideric Handel, a German-born English composer of the late Baroque era, was known particularly for his operas, oratorios, and instrumental compositions.

He wrote the most famous of all oratorios, Messiah George Frideric Handel showed a marked gift for music at an early age, becoming a skilled keyboard player by age 9.

Although his father did not like the idea of his son pursuing a career in music, Handel followed his musical inclination, later becoming well known for his compositions. When was George Frideric Handel born? Life Handel was the son of a barber-surgeon. He showed a marked gift for music and became a pupil in Halle of the composer Friedrich W. Zachow, learning the principles of keyboard performance and composition from him.

His father died when Handel was 11, but his education had been provided for, and in he enrolled as a law student at the University of Halle.

He also became organist of the Reformed Calvinist Cathedral in Halle, but he served for only one year before going north to Hamburg , where greater opportunities awaited him. In Hamburg, Handel joined the violin section of the opera orchestra.

He also took over some of the duties of harpsichordist , and early in he presided over the premiere in Hamburg of his first opera, Almira. Handel spent the years —10 traveling in Italy, where he met many of the greatest Italian musicians of the day, including Arcangelo Corelli and Alessandro Scarlatti and his son Domenico.

He composed many works in Italy, including two operas, numerous Italian solo cantatas vocal compositions , Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno and another oratorio, the serenata Aci, Galatea e Polifemo , and some Latin i.

His opera Agrippina enjoyed a sensational success at its premiere in Venice in His fame had spread throughout Italy, and his mastery of the Italian opera style now made him an international figure. In he was appointed Kapellmeister to the elector of Hanover , the future King George I of England , and later that year Handel journeyed to England.

In his opera Rinaldo was performed in London and was greeted so enthusiastically that Handel sensed the possibility of continuing popularity and prosperity in England. In he went back to London for the production of his operas Il pastor fido and Teseo Get exclusive access to content from our First Edition with your subscription.

Subscribe today Recognized by prominent members of both the English aristocracy and the intelligentsia, Handel was in no hurry to return to Hanover.

In Handel became director of music to the duke of Chandos , for whom he composed the 11 Chandos Anthems and the English masque Acis and Galatea, among other works. Another masque, Haman and Mordecai, was to be the effective starting point for the English oratorio.

Except for a few visits to the European continent, Handel spent the rest of his life in England. In February he became a British subject, which enabled him to be appointed a composer of the Chapel Royal. Among those of the s were Floridante , Ottone , Giulio Cesare , Rodelinda , and Scipione It went into decline for a variety of reasons, one of them being the impatience of the English with a form of entertainment in an unintelligible language sung by artists of whose morals they disapproved.

But despite the vagaries of public taste, Handel went on composing operas until , by which time he had written more than 40 such works. As the popularity of opera declined in England, oratorio became increasingly popular.

Handel first capitalized on this genre in with Deborah and Athalia. Handel also continued to comanage an Italian opera company in London despite many difficulties. Throughout his London career he had suffered competition not only from rival composers but also from rival opera houses in a London that could barely support even one Italian opera in addition to its English theatres. Finally, in , his company went bankrupt and he himself suffered what appears to have been a mild stroke.

After a course of treatment at Aachen Germany , he was restored to health and went on to compose the Funeral Anthem for Queen Caroline and two of his most celebrated oratorios, Saul and Israel in Egypt, both of which were performed in He also wrote the Twelve Grand Concertos, Op. Handel was by this time at the height of his powers, and the year saw the composition of his greatest oratorio, Messiah , and its inspired successor, Samson.

Messiah was given its first performance in Dublin on April 13, , and created a deep impression. Handel had by this time made oratorio and large-scale choral works the most popular musical forms in England.

He had created for himself a new public among the rising middle classes, who would have turned away in moral indignation from the Italian opera but who were quite ready to be edified by a moral tale from the Bible, set to suitably dignified and, by now, rather old-fashioned music.

Handel now began to experience trouble with his sight. He managed with great difficulty to finish the last of his oratorios, Jephtha, which was performed at Covent Garden Theatre, London, in He kept his interest in musical activities alive until the end.

George Frideric Handel.


George Frideric Handel

Act 1[ edit ] Princess Almira has inherited the throne from her father and the opera opens with her coronation. This is unwelcome news to Almira as she is desperately in love with her private secretary, a young man of unknown parentage named Fernando. Osman is not unhappy to be elevated to royal status in this way, but he too is already in love with someone else, the Princess Edilia. At an elaborate court entertainment, Almira mistakenly believes that her beloved Fernando is flirting with Edilia and becomes consumed with jealousy. The restless and jaded Osman attends another brilliant festivity given by Princess Bellante. Osman, although in love with Edilia, thinks it will be grand to be a royal personage, so is keen to marry Almira, and asks Fernando, whom he knows has influence with Almira, to speak to her on his behalf. Almira is not interested, being still in love with her secretary Fernando, although she has never told him so.


Almira, HWV 1 (Handel, George Frideric)



Handel: Almira


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