This evening I took in a concert of Handel’s Messiah at the church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London.
I enjoyed reading in the program this account of the success of its inaugural performance, in 1742:
“Messiah was well received in Dublin. The level of interest shown by the ‘most Grand, Polite and crouded Audience’ that attended the public rehearsal preceding the first performance was such that the charity organizers issued a request in the newspapers that for the performance the ladies of the audience should not wear hooped dresses, nor the men swords, in order to make more room.”
I can assure you that there was no one there with a hooped dress or a sword this evening.