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On 30 September our new season kicks off with a musical explosion that brings William Christie to the Royal Festival Hall, accompanied by the critically acclaimed soprano Sandrine Piau. Many of you will already be familiar with Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks, but here’s some facts you may not know about the music and composers featured in the event.
1. After a dispute, fellow composer Johann Mattheson attacked and almost killed Handel. Luckily Mattheson’s sword hit a button on Handel’s chest and bounced off.
2. Rameau was almost 50 years old before he embarked on the operatic career which went on to make him so famous.
3. When Dardanus premiered it received criticism for breaking French operatic conventions, the inclusion of a sea monster particularly wound people up.
4. The slow march from Scipione is the regimental march of the Grenadier Guards.
5. George Frederic Handel was born in 1685, the same year as Bach, although Handel outlived Bach by 9 years.