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George Frideric Handel
George Frideric Handel

Of the four operas written by the youthful composer George Frideric Handel (pictured) between 1703 and 1706 when he lived and worked in Hamburg, only the first, Almira, has survived complete. The music for the others is lost apart from a few orchestral fragments. Handel learned the rudiments of opera composition while employed as a violinist at the Oper am Gänsemarkt, Hamburg's famous opera house, and was able to get Almira and a second opera, Nero, performed there during the temporary absence of the theatre's director, Reinhard Keiser. Almira was successful, Nero less so. Handel's last two Hamburg operas, Florindo and Daphne, were not produced at the Gänsemarkt before Handel left Hamburg. No music that can be definitively traced to Nero has been identified, although scholars have speculated that some of it may have been used in later works, particularly Agrippina, which has a similar plot and characters. Fragments of music from Florindo and Daphne have been preserved, although without the vocal parts, and some of these elements have been incorporated into an orchestral suite first recorded in 2012. (Full article...)

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Coventry Cathedral

The interior of Coventry Cathedral, an Anglican church located in Coventry, West Midlands, England. This Modernist structure was designed by Basil Spence and built between 1956 and 1962 to replace a 14th-century Gothic church which had been destroyed by bombing during the Second World War. This cathedral is the seat of the Bishop of Coventry and the Diocese of Coventry.

Photograph: David Iliff

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