Handel's Messiah - episode 10

The pleasure-seeking audience

On 14 December Handel started selling tickets for his concerts from his own living room. Dublin was the perfect size for successful benefit concerts. It was big enough and wealthy enough for it to have an audience who would support the many worthy causes – AND it was small enough to ensure that it would be noticed if any of the nobility failed to attend a benefit concert. The numerous benefit concerts around Dublin were taken very seriously. When the annual benefit concert for Mercer’s Hospital was held the Chief Justice made sure that there were no court cases after 12 o’clock so that all of the solicitors and lawyers in the city could attend the concert.

Music: Dunedin Consort ‘Handel’s Original Dublin Version 1742’