Anthony Tommasini visits the Handel House Museum
New York Times music critic Anthony Tommasini takes a trip to London for the premiere of “Anna Nicole,” a new opera by Mark-Anthony Turnage, and ends up visiting George Frideric Handel‘s home, now a popular museum.
I was extremely moved to spend time in the room on the first floor where Handel kept his largest harpsichord (a Ruckers) and rehearsed the singers who appeared in his operas, reportedly sputtering critiques in several languages and showing little toleration for diva carryings-on. It was amazing to imagine Handel coaching the legendary, and famously temperamental, soprano Francesca Cuzzoni, who created the role of Cleopatra in “Giulio Cesare” (among others) in that small room with its windows facing all the bustle on Brook Street.
Anna Nicole, Jimi Hendrix and Handel in London (New York Times)
(Street view of the Handel House Museum, London; photo: Liz Smith)