[Daily article] August 23: Handel’s lost Hamburg operas

Of the four operas written by the youthful composer George Frideric
Handel (pictured) between 1703 and 1706 when he lived and worked in
Hamburg, only the first, Almira, has survived complete. The music for
the others is lost apart from a few orchestral fragments. Handel learned
the rudiments of opera composition while employed as a violinist at the
Oper am Gänsemarkt, Hamburg’s famous opera house, and was able to get
Almira and a second opera, Nero, performed there during the temporary
absence of the theatre’s director, Reinhard Keiser. Almira was
successful, Nero less so. Handel’s last two Hamburg operas, Florindo and
Daphne, were not produced at the Gänsemarkt before Handel left Hamburg.
No music that can be definitively traced to Nero has been identified,
although scholars have speculated that some of it may have been used in
later works, particularly Agrippina, which has a similar plot and
characters. Fragments of music from Florindo and Daphne have been
preserved, although without the vocal parts, and some of these elements
have been incorporated into an orchestral suite first recorded in 2012.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:


Ottoman forces defeated the Safavids at the Battle of
Chaldiran, gaining control of eastern Anatolia and northern Iraq.


Andrés Bonifacio and his Katipunan comrades in modern-day
Quezon City rose up in revolt against Spanish rule, marking the
beginning of the Philippine Revolution.


Palestine riots: Arabs began attacking Jews in Hebron in the
British Mandate of Palestine, killing over sixty people in two days.


The United Farm Workers, led by Cesar Chavez, began the Salad
Bowl strike, the largest farmworker strike in U.S. history.


Natascha Kampusch, who had been abducted at the age of 10 in
Vienna, escaped from her captor Wolfgang Přiklopil after eight years in

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

1. A bag or bladder to hold a reservoir of gas, as in a hot-air balloon.
2. (figuratively) A person who is overly garrulous or prone to making
empty, unsupportable statements; a windbag.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  The strife of Love’s the abysmal strife, And the word of Love is
the Word of Life. And they that go with the Word unsaid, Though they
seem of the living, are damned and dead.  
–William Ernest Henley

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