Monday, 28 March 2016

A Concert and Ball in Wiltshire's Rooms 1761

David Richards who was to benefit from the proceeds of this event was a leading Bath bandleader and violinist of this time.

Wiltshire's Rooms were the Assembly Rooms on the Parades, the site is now known as Bog Island. They had been called Wiltshire since they had been taken into the ownership of the Wiltshire family in 1744. The Wiltshire's were a very wealthy and influential Bath family who made their money as carriers, transporting high-value goods between London and Bath and as bankers. In 1761, they were being run by John Wiltshire on behalf of his family.

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi

The Italian Pergolesi had composed his Stabat Mater in 1736 shortly before his death at the age of 26. He was principally known as a composer of operas and, in particular, comic operas. The piece was composed for soprano, alto, string orchestra and basso continuo.

Thomas Norris was at this time singing as a soprano. Norris was born in Wiltshire but had gained his musical education as a chorister a Salisbury Cathedral and later at Oxford University.

Thomas Linley with the support of his many talented children became the leading figure in Bath music. At this time, he was known primarily as a tenor, an organist, harpsichordist and teacher.

At 5s, the ticket price was roughly £20 at today's values.

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