Item of the month, November 2015: Handel – Acis and Galatea

Handel composed what has been described variously as as a serenata, a masque, a pastoral and a pastoral opera, whilst living in North West London in the early eighteenth century. First performed in 1721, Acis and Galatea went on to become by far the most widely performed of his dramatic works and has since been adapted many times.

Acis and Galatea

Acis and Galatea (Jardin du Luxembourg, Médicis Fountain, Paris). Sculptor, Auguste Ottin. Photo by Wally Gobetz shared under Creative Commons licence, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic.

We are fortunate to have some early editions of Acis and Galatea in the Bridge Collection, one of our special collections, here in the Jerwood Library of the Performing Arts. The score featured in this month’s exhibition was published in London around 1788. It forms part of the very first attempt at a collected edition of Handel’s works by Dr Samuel Arnold (1740-1802).
Acis and Galatea

Acis and Galatea : a serenata composed for the Duke of Chandos in the year 1720 by George Frederic Handel. Published in London c. 1788

The Bridge Collection is the historical library of Trinity College of Music and consists of over 1,000 volumes, mainly of printed music. In order to search for an item in the Bridge Collection, using the catalogue, change the ‘location’ to ‘Bridge Collection’ and either simply hit ‘search’ or enter some further search terms.

Trinity Laban staff and students can use QuickSearch to search for additional online information (use the filters on the left hand side of the page to limit results to recordings, videos, scores, articles, reviews etc.) All you need to log in is your usual Trinity Laban username and password. If you have any questions about using QuickSearch then please just ask in the library.

You can see a specially-reduced production of Handel’s Acis and Galatea performed by Trinity Laban student-led opera company ‘Puzzle Piece Opera’ on Friday 20th November at 1pm at Charlton House.

In the meantime you can listen to Acis and Galatea performed by The English Consort, with the Choir of the English Consort, conducted by Trevor Pinnock, at the wall mounted listening station at the far end of the North Library.

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