Bridget Cunningham

Bridget Cunningham is an international opera conductor, prizewinning harpsichordist, presenter and musicologist who trained at the Royal College of Music. She has researched, conducted and produced this series of vocal and orchestral recordings of Handel with sopranos Sophie Bevan and Mary Bevan, baritone Benjamin Bevan, and London Early Opera with production by Grammy winning Chris Alder.

Bridget has conducted at venues such as St Martin-in-the Fields, Grosvenor Chapel, St James’s Piccadilly and St John’s Smith Square in London and at venues and festivals throughout Europe and her repertoire has included Magic Flute, Semele and Fairy Queen. She conducts several orchestras including London Early Opera, Music of the Spheres Ensemble and is associate conductor for the Schola Pietatis Antonio Vivaldi. She has a wide musical background as well as Early Music from performing Piazolla with the RTE Irish Chamber Orchestra live on Lyric Radio, to conducting recordings of early 20th Century English music composed by George Butterworth.

As a solo harpsichordist, Bridget has broadcast on Austria’s National Radio Stephansdom with pianist Angela Hewitt, performed as a solo harpsichordist to Prince Charles and the Royal Family at Buckingham Palace and played at Château de Hautefort and Maison Hine as part of Festi Classique in France.

Bridget Cunningham has been supported by the Finzi Trust and the Worshipful Company of Musicians as a Junior Fellow of the Royal College of Music for her work in the Centre for Performance History where she researched Early Music and the collection of historic instruments and continues to coach singers. She regularly gives lecture recitals at National art galleries and has opened ‘Watteau: The Drawings Exhibition’ at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

She has recorded and presented several programmes for SkyArts, RTE, Radio Stephansdom, Radio France and BBC television documentaries including Messiah and Vivaldi’s Women. She has made a recent harpsichord video for the Handel House Museum, Brook Street, London and has recorded several radio broadcasts on Handel and the King James Bible for BBC Radio 3 and 4.

  • London Early Opera follow up their debut release (Handel in Italy, Vol. 1) with a treasure trove of music by George Frideric Handel (as well as his contemporaries Thomas Arne and John Hebden) centered on the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens – a carnival of music and entertainments that entertained visitors for nearly 200 years. The booklet notes features images and expert commentaries of the Vauxhall Gardens by author David E. Coke and conductor and musicologist Bridget Cunningham. 

    Praise for the series: 4*, 5* ‘if all six [discs] are put together with the same care as these two, and directed with the same verve and vigour, this will be a series well worth collecting’ - Early Music Today


    Read an interview with London Early Opera conductor and musicologist Bridget Cunningham at Presto Classical!


     

     
     

     

  • Bridget Cunningham marks St Patrick’s Day with a new harpsichord CD that gives a glimpse into Handel’s fascinating time in Dublin.

     

    In 1741 at the age of 56, following a financially difficult time in Londonand with fashions turning against Italian opera, Handel went to Dublin
    for 9 months – a thriving musical city and the 2nd largest in the British Isles after London.
     
    The story of this fascinating trip is told in both music and detailed accompanying notes by harpsichordist and musicologist Bridget Cunningham. This disc is part of Cunningham’s ongoing series with the ensemble London Early Opera, which has already seen releases of several volumes of Handel’s music, including Handel in Italy and Handel at Vauxhall.
  • London Early Opera continue their new series of Handel’s works with the second volume of pieces composed in Italy. Both volumes of Handel in Italy explore the young composer’s Italian years through his cantatas, sacred pieces, operatic works and instrumental compositions. Handel wrote prolifically during his stay in Italy, his output includes oratorios, operas, sonatas, instrumental works and sacred vocal masterpieces including over 100 cantatas. Featuring performances from internationally acclaimed soloists, the sopranos Sophie Bevan and Mary Bevan with their uncle, baritone Benjamin Bevan conducted and conceived by Bridget Cunningham.

     

  • London Early Opera perform a unique programme of Handel’s Italian-inspired works, devised by conductor Bridget Cunningham and featuring a unique family collaboration from from world-renowned soprano sisters Sophie Bevan and Mary Bevan alongside their uncle, bass Benjamin Bevan.

    Praise for the series: 4*, 5* ‘if all six [discs] are put together with the same care as these two, and directed with the same verve and vigour, this will be a series well worth collecting’ - Early Music Today


    Read an interview with London Early Opera conductor and musicologist Bridget Cunningham at Presto Classical!