Discover items from the Museum Collection in the V&A’s opera exhibition as it goes on tour.
Visitors to the V&A’s touring exhibition Opera: Passion, Power, Politics will have the opportunity to see two unique items from the Museum’s Gerald Coke Handel Collection. Told through the lens of seven premieres in seven European cities, this immersive exhibition takes you on a journey through nearly 400 years, culminating in the international explosion of opera in the 20th and 21st centuries.
The exhibition features Handel’s opera Rinaldo, the first opera he composed for a London audience, first performed in 1711. On display will be a manuscript from the Gerald Coke Handel Collection containing some additional songs written by Handel for a later run of the opera in 1717. This item is a unique contemporary source for these songs, once owned by Charles Jennens, Handel’s librettist, who is best known as the compiler of the libretto for Messiah. The touring exhibition will also feature the Museum’s copy of a libretto from the 1717 performances of Rinaldo, which included these four additional songs.
The exhibition will go on tour in Oman, Barcelona and Madrid over the next 18 months. If you happen to be travelling during this time, be sure to visit this fascinating exhibition. More information can be found here.