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Though Handel was sometimes described as quick-tempered and ill-mannered by his contemporaries, he also evidently had a charitable side. Following a series of benefit performances from 1749 onward, Handel became connected with the Foundling Hospital in Bloomsbury, a home for sick, orphaned and abandoned children. Including excerpts from the oratorio Solomon (1748), this programme features music drawn from Handel’s first concert for the Foundling Hospital. Handel’s association with the hospital was a fruitful one. He raised over 2.5 million in today’s equivalent currency, for the Foundling Hospital which later became the Coram Foundation.

While the concert will be free to view, it isn’t free to produce. We encourage viewers to follow in the spirit of the original event and donate generously as they are able.


Almighty power
Imperial Solomon/See from opening skies/Sacred raptures
Thou fair inhabitant of Nile/ Duet: Welcome as the dawn of day
When thou art absent/ With thee th’unsheltered moor I tread
What though I trace each herb
Act 3 Sinfonia (Arrival of the Queen of Sheba)
Music spread thy voice around
Golden columns fair and bright
Will the sun
Every joy that wisdom knows
The name of the wicked shall quickly be past.

Aria – Blessed are they that consider the poor and needy
Chorus – Blessed are they that consider the poor and needy
Aria – O God who from the suckling’s mouth
Quartet SSAT and Chorus – The Charitable shall be had in everlasting remembrance
Chorus – Comfort them, O Lord, when they are sick
Duet – The People will tell of their wisdom
Chorus – Hallelujah!

Featured Artists

The English Concert
Harry Bicket Director
Dame Sarah Connolly Solomon
Sophie Bevan Queen of Sheba
Soraya Mafi Queen
James Way Zadok

Alison Balsom Presenter

This performance will take place from the Great Hall at Bart’s Hospital. Its staircase is famously painted by Hogarth, who was the first governor of the Foundling Hospital.

Barts Heritage was formed in 2017 to repair, conserve and renovate the nationally important Grade I listed North Wing (with the Great Hall and Hogarth Stair), King Henry VIII Gatehouse and other heritage assets at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City of London. The Hospital is the oldest in Britain, having dispensed free healthcare on the same site for nearly 900 years. Its historic buildings, art collection and archives remain at the heart of this unique institution and busy working hospital.

Our project, over 2020-2025, is estimated at £10.5m. The capital works will include the external repairs of the North Wing and Henry VIII Gatehouse, and the conservation and re-presentation of the two grand interiors, the Great Hall and Hogarth Stair. Core services and security systems to support public use will be brought into the North Wing, with lighter touch redecoration and upgrade of reception rooms and ancillary spaces and the introduction of a temporary exhibition and visitor orientation space. The rejuvenated buildings will serve as the setting and inspiration for a new public engagement and activity programme focusing on health and wellbeing, and designed and delivered in close partnership with the Hospital.

Donate to The English Concert
Donate to Bart’s Heritage


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