Today is Festa de la Repubblica, Italy's National Holiday, and we will be initiating a new series of verses ...
Authors' Note: Demand for gaudy Italian opera faded temporarily in the mid-18th century in his adopted English homeland, so George Frideric Handel (1685–1759) composed a series of non-costumed oratorios for combined choir and orchestra. The sixth in the series was initially produced in Dublin, as poor reception in London was anticipated; this was, in fact, the case, but after a number of yearly springtime performances at Covent Garden Theatre, the New Sacred Oratorio gained critical and audience approval, and acquired a bold new name and unassailable status. The tradition that audiences stand for the Hallelujah Chorus is based on the unfounded myth that King George II attended an early show and was moved to stand during that point in the performance.
The title for the iconic chorus seems to have been set in the Handelian context as Hallelujah, but dictionaries list variants of the Hebrew-derived exclamation ("praise the Lord!"), including Allelujah and Alleluia.
You can review our entire poetic outpouring about Italian loanwords by proceeding to a post on our full-service blog 'Edifying Nonsense'; click HERE.
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