We were delighted to be a part of The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2022 and have raised funds to create our new baroque choir led by Dr Charles MacDougall and our Artistic Director Bridget Cunningham with our team of baroque instrumentalists. We will perform and record our next albums with our new LEO choir and will sing music by Hasse and Handel and also more unknown gems from the 18th-century.
We have a fundraiser ‘Raise the Roof’ – Handel Recordings to raise £10,000 for recordings, streamed performances and our Handelians Educational scheme. Please support us if you can: www.gofundme.com
All of our Albums are available here from: London Early Opera Archives – Signum Records
“Handel has never sounded better” BBC Music Magazine ★★★★★ 5 Stars
Shortlisted for nominations for the Gramophone Awards 2020
London Early Opera – Wikipedia
LATEST RELEASE – Modern day world premiere performance and recording of Handel’s Caio Fabbricio HWV A9.
Our Artistic Director, harpsichordist Bridget Cunningham has released a new album of Handel’s Eight Great Harpsichord Suites available from Handel8GreatSuites
“The playing is so beautifully focused…Splendid in every respect.”
“This is as polished an account as any on account of Sophie Bevan’s unerring sense of decorum for what each movement requires.”
“A dazzling disc.”
“the performances all boast star quality”
“Cuzzoni and Faustina’s rivalry in 1720s London allegedly culminated in a bust-up during Bononcini’s Astianatte, in front of royalty. Both Bevan and Crowe sing from the opera, and together they perform a duet from Alessandro. Crowe draws the long straw with Cuzzoni’s show-stoppers from Giulio Cesare and Scipione, but Bevan’s sweet tone and instrumental style shine in lesser works for Faustina.”
Fundraising for London Early Opera.
London Early Opera has made an impact around the world for outstanding performances imaginative programmes, award winning research of baroque music, acclaimed CD recordings and for nurturing international singers and musicians in the baroque style.
Our Artistic Director, Bridget Cunningham coaches and directs from the harpsichord and researches the music with a group of leading historians and musicologists from around the world creating our own new editions and scores. Our emerging artists scheme The Handelians focuses on the development and education of exceptional singers and musicians inspiring the future generations – one of Handel’s passions.
LEO is expanding its recording series with Signum Classics exploring Handel’s colourful life, influences and experiences which inspired his magnificent musical legacy. Handel in Italy Volumes 1 & 2, Handel in Ireland, Handel at Vauxhall Volumes 1 & 2 and Handel’s Queens LEO was shortlisted for nominations for Gramophone Music Award 2020:
“Handel has never sounded better” 2019 BBC Music Magazine 5 Stars *****
Since 2008 our diverse performances range from Handel’s Semele, Acis and Galatea, Messiah, Bach’s Easter Oratorio, Trafalgar Day Concert with Jamie Crick, a 400th Anniversary concert of Monteverdi‘s 1610 Vespers at Southwark Cathedral, Couperin’s Leçons de ténèbres, several performances at the London Handel Festival, Handel Hendrix and the Foundling Museums, a recording for period instruments of the Shropshire Lad by George Butterworth and a live broadcast for BBC Radio 4 on the River Thames celebrating the 300th anniversary of Handel’s Water Music with a world premiere BBC commission.
LEO are currently fundraising for £10,000 towards future concerts, educational work and world premier recordings to support our musicians in need.
We have no overheads or office costs and all donations given go directly towards music making – musical research, editions, education, recordings and performances.
London Early Opera established in 2008 and is a UK Registered Charity No. 1143989 working in partnership with the French Association CréAquitaine.
Music – the ultimate learning and sharing opportunity
Our emerging artists educational scheme The Handelians focuses on the professional development and education of exceptional young musicians inspiring the future generations – one of Handel’s passions.
Singers and instrumentalists from LEO offer advanced coaching sessions on musical techniques, historical performance practice, repertoire as well as career advice. We also offer workshops for schools and conservatoires based on the National Curriculum or purely for enrichment.
LEO can help students build a lifelong love of baroque music and bring authenticity and originality to the forefront by introducing historical instruments, baroque style and a wonderful cultural heritage.
Lecture Recitals and Research – sharing and learning
Our Artistic Director, Bridget Cunningham and various members of LEO have given specialist lecture recitals on music and art for the Royal Academy of Arts, Handel Hendrix Museum, Royal College of Music and the National Gallery. We also make and feature on videos, talks and podcasts for online forums and platforms such as Vocalista, the Oxford Youth Choirs ‘Saturday at Noon’ series and Living Room Live. And have our own YouTube Channel
London Early Opera https://www.youtube.com
All of our artists are leading exponents of baroque research and work closely with other musicologists, historians, editors and researchers as we believe that music is the ultimate learning and sharing opportunity.
Past Educational Events
One of LEO’s theorbo player Cesar Queruz played for young pupils with learning needs at the Jack Tizard school. The Deputy Head said “It was a really positive, enjoyable experience for the children and for the staff.” Teaching assistant Suzanne said “Some of the children would not be able to travel to concerts and live music is such a stimulus for our kids.” One of the pupils Jamie, summed up what he thought of the LEO musician “more!” LEO has run Baroque Music Creative Workshops at Streatham & Clapham High Junior School and other educational establishments.
Bridget Cunningham opened the Royal Academy of Arts exhibition, London Watteau and Handel: 18th Century Music in London and Paris and gave a lecture recital with musical highlights from the Baroque Era – the time of Watteau and Handel – capturing the spirit of the stunning music performed in both fashionable cities.
MUSIC AT THE PLEASURE GARDENS
Since 2016 London Early Opera continue to explore the treasure trove of music performed at the various London Pleasure Gardens and are bringing it back to life with narrated performances for audiences today.
Our performances are inspired by in depth research into the lives of eighteenth-century composers, freelance musicians, artists, poets, dancers and actors who worked and influenced life at the pleasure gardens in London and particularly at Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens – associated with Handel Hogarth, Milton and their contemporaries. This research brings to life the depth of London social history at that time as well as that of Royal patronages and interaction with the London Opera Houses and contemporary music publishing.
Our research to date has led to two internationally acclaimed recordings – Handel at Vauxhall Volume 1 (2016) and Handel at Vauxhall Volume 2 (2018) with Signum Classics.
HANDEL AT VAUXHALL Vol.1
“It transported me to the outdoors, lovely music for a gorgeous spring day”, Dr Sarah Walker, BBC 3 Radio 3 In Tune.
“Most decorously sung and played by London Early Opera, conducted by Bridget Cunningham.” Financial Times, May 2016
“Revelatory – a superbly performed, thoroughly enjoyable disc”
★★★★★ Choir & Organ Magazine, 2016″.
Available from Signum Records
HANDEL AT VAUXHALL Vol.2
“Bridget Cunningham directs with a fine sense of 18th-century style, and provides very effective harpsichord support”
Andrew Benson-Wilson, Early Music Reviews.
“A must for early music devotees” Northern Echo.
Available from Signum Records
Articles on music at the pleasure gardens by members of London Early Opera
1) Bridget Cunningham talks to David Smith at Presto Music:
Handel at Vauxhall |Presto Music
2) Article written by Bridget Cunningham for The Handel Friends Magazine “A Glimpse Behind the Scenes: Recording Handel”:Handel at Vauxhall –(handelfriendsuk.com)
3) David E. Coke and Bridget Cunningham talk to Samira Ahmed on BBC Radio 4 Front Row:
Front Row – Anomalisa, Seamus Heaney’s The Aeneid, Handel at Vauxhall, In the Age of Giorgione – BBC Sounds
4) GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS – Choir and Organ Magazine, July/August 2016
Where would you find organists mixing with tightrope walkers and hot air balloons? Bridget Cunningham talks to our organist Daniel Moult about new research that is unlocking a fascinating part of England’s musical heritage.
5) Bridget Cunningham in conversation with the Vauxhall Society:Handel at Vauxhall (vauxhallhistory.org)
Our research and music from the Pleasure Gardens has featured on Radio 3 In Tune with Sean Rafferty and BBC Radio 3 Record Review with Andrew McGregor and you can find videos from our Pleasure Gardens concerts on our YouTube Channel: London Early Opera –
We have performed with our very own original Vauxhall Band of Musicians at Grosvenor Chapel, Mayfair, St Peter’s Church Vauxhall, St George’s Church, Hanover Square, Coram Fields and The Foundling Museum and the Oxford and Cambridge Club working with historians David E. Coke, Alan Borg and Lars Tharp. If you would like to know more and hear us in concert or can support our new programmes in any way, we look forward to hearing from you.
New Programme COMING SOON:
Hogarth’s Garden – Art & Music at the Pleasure Gardens
London Early Opera are exploring the treasure trove of music performed at the London Pleasure Gardens and are bringing it back to life with narrated and dramatised performances. Our performances are inspired by full research into the lives of eighteenth- century freelance musicians, artists, poets, dancers and actors who worked and influenced Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. Hogarth’s Garden explores the inspiration of the artist William and his Hogarth who vision of Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens.
Your generous donations can be enhanced by our recovery as a charity of Income Tax through the UK Gift Aid Scheme.
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