Research and Talks

Handel – friends, foes and flattery

Today Handel dominates any conversation about English musical life in the eighteenth century. But it wasn’t always the case. During his lifetime, Handel’s music was often overshadowed by that of native English composers, as well as fellow musical immigrants. In addition, Royal patronage and political sensitivities all played their part in determining what was popular, as well as the need to write music for profit and for the burgeoning domestic music scene. Tatty Theo explores the colourful music scene in London from 1710-1759, with images and musical extracts.


Zimmerman’s Kaffeehaus

Coffeehouse culture is rapidly becoming as popular now as it was in the eighteenth century. Tatty Theo explores the history of music in European coffeehouses, focusing on London and Leipzig, Handel and Bach’s respective cities.

Listen to Tatty’s interview from In Tune on BBC Radio 3 about 18th century coffeehouse culture:


Margherita Durastanti – Handel’s Italian Muse

Margherita Durastanti enjoyed a long and fruitful collaboration with Handel, their musical lives together spanning over 30 years. In fact, of all the sopranos that Handel worked with, his connection with Durastanti endured for the longest time. Tatty Theo sheds new light on this singer, about whom surprisingly little is known.


Handel in Italy

This talk explores the huge impact Handel’s time in Italy (1706–1710) had on his life, shaping him as a man, musician and truly great composer. Musical colleagues, rivals, employers and patrons all played a vital part in determining the direction of Handel’s musical career.