The London Handel Players and soprano Emma Kirkby transport us to the elysian delights of London’s Pleasure Gardens, featuring music by Handel, Arne, JC Bach and Lampe. This unique concert is presented in collaboration with the Cork Orchestral Society.
Cecilia Young was born in 1711 into a musical family and had connections with many of the most important musicians in England such as Geminiani, Lampe, Thomas Arne (whom she married) and Handel. According to music historian, Charles Burney, she had “a good natural voice and a fine shake [and] had been so well taught, that her style of singing was infinitely superior to that of any other English woman of her time”. She met Handel in 1734 and he subsequently created several roles for her including Dalinda in Ariodante, Morgana in Alcina, the soprano solos in Alexander’s Feast and the title-role in Athalia. She featured regularly with her husband at Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, performing music that he had written for her. This would surely also have featured in their trip to Dublin in 1742, following on the coat-tails of Handel’s monumental success there that year. This programme features examples of these many roles interspersed with instrumental music of the time.