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9. Handel - GEORGE FREDERIC HANDEL George Frederic...

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GEORGE FREDERIC HANDEL
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George Frederic Handel (1685-1759). A master of Italian opera and English oratorio born in Halle, Germany. Handel was not from a musical family; his father wanted him to study law, not music. By the time Handel was nine, however, his musical talent was so outstanding that his father permitted him to study.
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By the age of eleven , Handel was not only able to compose but also to give organ lessons . His father died when Handel was twelve. He entered Halle University at seventeen to study law. However, a year later he left the university and set out for Hamburg.
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Handel was drawn to the renowned opera house in Hamburg. There he became a violinist and harpsichordist in the orchestra, and when he was only twenty, one of his operas was successfully produced. At twenty-one he went to Italy to establish his career and spent three highly productive years. There he wrote Italian operas that were acclaimed everywhere.
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Returning to Germany in 1710 , Handel took a well-paid position as music director for Elector Georg Ludwig of Hanover. After just a month, he asked for a leave to go to London, where his opera Rinaldo was being produced. Rinaldo was a triumph, and then he returned to Hanover.
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A year later Handel again asked the elector for an English leave. It was granted on the condition that Handel stay only a reasonable length of time in London. This turned out to be the next half-century (1712-1759). He became England's most important composer and a favorite of Queen Anne, who gave him a subsidy.
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On Anne's death, a complicated arrangement made the elector of Hanover, Georg Ludwig, King George I of England (1714). The king had not taken offense at Handel's absence. Italian opera in London was an exotic entertainment for the pleasure of the aristocracy . A few aristocrats provided the base of support for opera in London.
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They ran a commercial opera company called the Royal Academy of Music.
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In 1719, Handel became its music director . After nine seasons the company folded because of inadequate support . However, in that period Handel had composed a number of brilliant operas for outstanding sopranos and castrati. Handel's reputation continued to grow, and after the collapse of the Royal Academy, he decided to form a company to produce his works.
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For years, he had a triple career as impresario, composer, and performer).
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