Historical lecture to delve into life of eighteenth century Saddleworth singer Sarah Harrop

DISCOVER MORE about the life of Sarah Harrop, one of England’s leading singers of the late eighteenth century at a lecture on Wednesday, September 14.

by William Pether, mezzotint, 1793
Sarah Harrop by William Pether, mezzotint, 1793

Saddleworth Historical Society is hosting the lecture at Saddleworth Museum on Uppermill High Street at 7.30pm.

Victor Khadem will talk about the daughter of a modest woollen clothier, who was born at Woodbrook in what is today Springhead and attended Hey Chapel, Lees, renowned throughout England for its music-making.

The talk will look at some of Harrop’s contemporaries at Hey and their contribution to the northern choral tradition, before outlining her life on moving to London.

Following her Covent Garden debut success in 1777 at the age of just eighteen, Harrop married her tutor, Joah Bates, a Halifax-born civil servant, who was at the centre of the capital’s musical scene.

In her later years she withdrew from the stage but performed for Haydn in a private recital at her London home and was a favourite of King George III who was assuaged by her singing during his bouts of madness.

At a time when little is known of the lives of women from Saddleworth, Victor Khadem’s lecture promises to shine a light on one whose importance has too often been overlooked.

All welcome, the evening is free to members and £3 to non-members. Refreshments will be served.


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