In this Handel Gallery display, you could discover the life and work of Richard Leveridge, a leading singer on the 18th-century London stage.

Born in London in 1670, Richard (Dick) Leveridge’s career crossed the centuries. Having become the lead bass singer at Drury Lane Theatre in 1695, singing for Purcell in many of his stage works, he later went on to sing in the first performances of Handel’s early London operas. Then followed a career on the London stage spanning 50 years which saw him perform at leading venues such as Lincoln’s Inn Fields and Covent Garden.

This display in the Handel Gallery introduced the life of this popular theatre singer, including his work as a composer and more surprisingly as a coffee shop owner. You can learn about the different threads of Dick Leveridge’s life through manuscripts, early printed music and artworks, from drinking songs and stage works to contemporary accounts and formal portraits.

Discover more about Richard Leveridge in this podcast with experts Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson. Baldwin and Wilson have written extensively on seventeenth and eighteenth-century singers for musical periodicals and dictionaries. They were Research Associates for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, for which they wrote over 60 articles, and have edited facsimile editions of the complete songs of Richard Leveridge, including his highly successful and popular music for Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

Watch this short film with Katharine Hogg, Gerald Coke Handel Collection Librarian, which gives viewers a glimpse of the Museum display