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Photograph of Helen Dymond

Helen Dymond’s fascination with Handel started in the 1980s when she sang in the Handel Opera Chorus and realised how little we understand of this iconic figure who wrote the most important choral work in the English language.

She supplied the research for a Channel 4 film, Honour, Profit and Pleasure, starring Simon Callow in 1985 for the Handel Tercentenary, and in the same year her Handel-Lover’s Chorus, a comic arrangement of the Hallelujah Chorus, was published by Novello, re-issued in 2009 and is still in print.

Scenes from her radio play Handel and Susannah were performed in costume in 2005 at the Handel House Museum, with Julian Perkins as Handel, and Kate Manley variously playing Susannah Cibber, Francesca Cuzzoni and Kitty Clive.

Her one-act play Handel’s Feast, starring David Bamber, with musical direction by Laurence Cummings, was performed in the London Handel Festival in 2009 for the composer’s 250th Memorial.

Finding Handel is her ultimate work on this topic and her most ambitious, written variously as a radio play, stage play and novella. Apart from these writings, and some unpublished poetry, Helen was a busy college lecturer for 45 years, ending up at the City Lit, creating and teaching courses on Handel and on The Psychology of Religion.

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