Handel, George Freidrich
Judas Maccabaeus, a sacred drama, as it is perform’d at the Theatre Royal in Covent Garden.
Dublin, James Hoey, 1748
Judas Maccabaeus is an oratorio based on the story of Judas Maccabaeus, who led a revolt of his people against the Seleucid Empire. The Jewish Festival Hannukkah celebrates the victory of the Maccabees. The oratorio was written by Handel in 1746, and has strong political overtones as it was composed in the wake of the Jacobite Rising of 1745 and the British victory at the Battle of Culloden. Unlike the more famous Messiah, it did not have its first performance in Dublin, being first performed at Covent Garden on April 1st, 1747. A year later it was brought to Dublin, where, like The Messiah, it was performed in the Musick Hall in Fishamble Street. The performance raised funds for the new Lying-In Hospital at the Rotunda and an insert at the back of the volume provides information on the success of the hospital since its foundation, including the admission of “567 poor Women with proper Certificates of their Poverty and Character.” In addition: “It is justly Remarke’d that since the foundation of this Charity, there has not been a Child found Murthered in the City or Suburbs of Dublin.”