Daniel Snowman is a cultural historian whose recent books include The Gilded Stage: A Social History of Opera which was hailed by the late Sir Charles Mackerras as “…the most comprehensive history of opera ever written… This wonderful book will become the standard history of opera“.
The Covent Garden piazza was the first great square in London. Created in the 1630s, its perimeters were decorated by a string of Italianate buildings – notably, St Paul’s, by Inigo Jones. This most fashionable piazza soon sprouted every amenity a wealthy Stuart or Hanoverian household might require: coffee houses, a market and in 1732, the first of three successive theatres. All this made for rich pickings by artists such as Hogarth and others.
Over nearly four centuries the theatres burned down and were redesigned and rebuilt. Today’s market would be unrecognisable to earlier habitués from Gustave Doré, Swift and Dr Johnson to Shaw’s Eliza Doolittle. Yet the Covent Garden piazza and the cultural life it has long embraced have continued to thrive: a state of grace which would surely sometimes have seemed (to Eliza at least) ‘not bloody likely’.
Daniel Snowman is a frequent speaker for a number of British arts festivals, cultural organisations, luncheon clubs, NADFAS (National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies) etc, and in a typical year delivers some 40-50 illustrated talks and lectures in the UK and abroad. Recent highlights for Daniel have included –lectures at the Royal College of Music, the National Gallery, New York Metropolitan Guild, The Juilliard School of Music, Royal Institute of British Architects, and many more.
Special interest days are intended to give members an in-depth look at different aspects of art and culture. The talks are richly illustrated. No previous knowledge is needed and there is no need to take notes or join in discussions – just enjoy listening to an expert and enthusiastic lecturer on one of their specialist subjects.
Tickets £32 (Includes buffet lunch, a glass of wine and homemade cakes)