London attraction: A musical journey through time at Handel Hendrix House after dark 

Handel Hendrix House, nestled in the heart of Mayfair, unveils a magical experience every Friday evening with its After Dark series, running until 23 February, 2024. This historic dual-residence, once home to classical genius George Frideric Handel and rock icon Jimi Hendrix, comes alive during these enchanting hours.

From 18:00 to 20:00, the historic rooms of Handel’s Georgian home are transformed into a haven of candle-effect lighting, setting the stage for live performances of Handel’s masterpieces. On Friday, 10th November, we were joined by two very special acts: violinist Abel Balasz and the psychedelic Spanish guitar duo Zurito.

 A musical journey through time at Handel Hendrix House after dark 

The air resonated with the virtuosic sounds of a violin, expertly played by Abel Balasz, and the psychedelic Spanish guitar duo Zurito, who infused the traditional Spanish guitar sound with a riotous explosion of melody and rhythm, making us all very joyful. Lots of tourists from California were enthusiastic to be singing and posing with the friendly Zurito.

The quality of the music is exceptional, with carefully selected musicians bringing the best into the house, each room exuding its own unique energy. I feel very excited every time I step into 25 Brook Street, Mayfair, in anticipation of the musical journey that awaits.

A musical journey through time at Handel Hendrix House after dark 

The journey extends beyond Handel’s era to the swinging sixties when Jimi Hendrix, ‘the Bat’ to friends, animated the nights. His bedroom, adorned with psychedelic colours, becomes a canvas for live music, capturing the spirit of an era when Hendrix entertained legendary musicians. The After Dark series offers a time capsule into the lives of two musical legends.

I have experienced this special house in the morning, afternoon, and now in the evening. I have to say that it is particularly evocative to experience live rock and Baroque music in the atmospheric candlelight setting of Handel’s restored Georgian home filled with shimmering gilt picture frames and period furniture.

Above the fireplace in Handel’s dining room is a Canaletto showcasing a Venetian landscape that especially caught my eye this time. Giovanni Antonio Canal, commonly known as Canaletto, is synonymous with Venice. I noticed that it was a different one from my previous visit six months ago. I enquired to find out that there are four pieces of Canaletto’s artwork on loan to the museum from a private collector that rotate every six months. Apparently, Handel and Canaletto were friends and used to meet in this same house. Handel did own a painting by the Italian artist.

A musical journey through time at Handel Hendrix House after dark  - canaletto painting

Fridays from 18:00 to 20:00 provide a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the lives of Handel and Hendrix, with the last admission at 19:30. Tickets, priced at £20.00 per person, can be secured in advance at www.handelhendrix.org or at the door.

The recent £3 million restoration project has opened all of Handel’s house to the public for the first time, revealing historic rooms as they might have appeared in the 1740s during Handel’s creative peak. From the meticulously recreated basement kitchen to the ground floor parlours, visitors can explore the spaces where Handel received guests and patrons.

New additions, including historic rooms reflecting the 1740s and exhibitions exploring Handel’s music, enrich the immersive experience. A mixed reality audiovisual display about the writing of Messiah adds a captivating layer to the journey.

For a contrasting yet complementary experience, Jimi Hendrix’s flat at 23 Brook Street, brilliantly restored in 2016, is part of the expanded Hallelujah Project. Visitors can traverse the stairs to his flat and enjoy a new exhibition featuring a film exploring Hendrix’s guitar technique and influence on musicians, enhanced by Bang & Olufsen’s high-quality sound.

The Handel Hendrix House After Dark series is a harmonious blend of history, music, and immersive storytelling, creating an unmissable experience for enthusiasts of classical and rock music alike. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to step into the lives of Handel and Hendrix, two musical maestros who once called Mayfair home.

jimi hendrix playing the guitar

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