Exhibition | Handel Exhibition at Boughton House

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on June 13, 2016


Boughton House, Northamptonshire. Most of the present building was undertaken by Ralph Montagu, 1st Duke of Montagu (d. 1709) who inherited the house in 1683. The Buccleuch Living Heritage Trust now looks after the house and estate.

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Later this summer at Boughton:

Handel Exhibition at Boughton House
Boughton House (near Kettering), Northamptonshire, August 2016

This August Boughton House celebrates the composer George Frideric Handel’s extraordinary legacy with items from the Buccleuch musical archives. The exhibition looks at key moments in Handel’s life, from his formative years in the palaces of cardinals and princes in Rome, to his rise as England musical genius presiding over London, the European capital of music theatre in the eighteenth century.

The exhibition will launch with an event hosted by the Duke of Buccleuch on Sunday, 17th July (see below). The Paris dance company, Les Corps Eloquents, will create a unique Handel performance in Boughton’s Great Hall, including re-created scenes from some of Handel’s most spectacular operas. London theatre-goers expected ballet in their opera, and Handel did not disappoint. He created over 70 works for the French dancers he had at his disposal, thanks to patrons like the Duke of Montagu.

The exhibition presents
• Glimpses of Handel’s early life in the palaces of cardinals in Rome
• Rare images of Handel and his colleagues, including a life size bust after Louis François Roubiliac
• Roubiliac’s terracotta model for the Handel statue in Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens
• A 1720 harpsichord thought to have belonged to Handel
• Original choreographies as used by Handel’s dancers at The Kings Theatre, Haymarket
• A small orchestra of Chelsea Porcelain musicians
• Rare scores and manuscripts including the first edition of The Messiah
• When Handel came to lunch: the menu and guest list from Montagu House April 1747
• Musical instruments as used in the music for the Royal Fireworks

Handel at Boughton
Boughton House (near Kettering), Northamptonshire, 17 July 2016

Hosted by the Duke of Buccleuch, this unique event begins with a welcoming coffee and the opportunity to stroll through Boughton’s glorious gardens and landscape. A buffet brunch is then followed by a tour of the house as well as a private view of Boughton’s 2016 Handel exhibition, which takes a fresh look at Handel’s life in Rome and London—with rare paintings, instruments, and original scores from the family archives, including The Messiah.

This one-off programme of events includes a splendid Handel performance in the Great Hall with counter-tenor James Laing and Paris dance company Les Corps Eloquents. Together they will re-create scenes from some of Handel’s most spectacular operas. You’ll also be treated to the first public performance of composer Luke Styles’s Passacaille—an extraordinary 21st-century re-imagining of Handel’s work through music, song, and dance. Tea and cakes will be served shortly afterwards. Luke Styles is one of the UK’s leading composers of his generation. Over the last four years his operas have been performed at Glyndebourne, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and the Vault Festival. Passacaille, his new piece for Boughton, is a re-imagining of an original Handel dance. For voice, instruments, and four dancers, its harmony, phrasing and melodic shapes are all given a 21st-century treatment, combining Sytles’s own musical language with the Handelian aesthetic.

The day starts at 11am and ends at 5pm. Please advise us in advance if you are a wheelchair user by calling 01536 515731 or emailing us. Early bird tickets cost £55 if purchased before 20th June and £65 thereafter.

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