The Penthouse, No. 38 Scarlet Row, Essex Street West, Dublin 8
asking price: €875,000
Agent: Sherry Fitz Gerald (01) 6431400
Dublin venues worshiped Georgie Handel long before Garth Brooks ever took to the stage.
After ecstatic performances in the capital in the spring of 1742, the devout German composer, who ‘wrote like hell’ and loved the pub, was harnessed to a charity gig for various Dublin hospitals and the city’s debtors – unfortunates who were locked up until they coughed.
But because Handel appreciated Dublin’s enthusiasm, he decided to offer the city’s audience something special.
George Frideric has been booked for the Great Music Hall on Fishamble Street on April 12th. He assembled a choir of 16 men, 16 boys and two women, including soprano Susannah Cibber, considered morally dubious by many in society.
He assembled local musicians, including two trumpeters, and wrote off to have his trusty harpsichord shipped from England.
The once celebrated but quickly fading opera composer had written a baroque choral work of a very different kind, but had not yet performed it Messiah. It summarized biblical tracts and combined parts of the Coverdale Psalter by his friend Charles Jennens.
But when Handel told Jennens about the surprise concert in Dublin where he wanted to premiere the work, Jennens was horrified. “It was with some humiliation for me to hear that instead of performing Messiah here he went to Ireland with it,” said Jennens.
It was pushed back to April 13 because some bigwigs couldn’t make it, but Messiah The Dublin premiere went down a storm. A Reverend Delaney jumped up after a section of Cibber and loudly proclaimed to everyone that the whore’s sins were forgiven after all?
Messiah mustered enough dosh to free 142 prisoners in debt, and Handel was quick to capitalize on the success by adding some Dublin dates for the ‘last of all time’ for June.
For internationally acclaimed performers, Irish audiences are basic, but Messiah The London debut at Covent Garden was met with a snippy reception, particularly with the recording of Cibber.
But Handel and Cibber had the last laughs. She would become England’s highest paid actress with it and today Messiah is the most frequently performed choral work in the western world.
So there. First performed at Temple Bar, heard and performed by Handel’s friends in low places.
Today the location is still exactly where the Dublin party takes place. The Scarlet Row apartment block on Essex Street West now occupies the site of Handel’s venue, its gates exactly where the Music Hall once stood.
And the crowning glory of the block is the penthouse apartment at No38 with its rooftop party garden.
These include a multi-seater Jacuzzi, long drink bar, BBQ area, flower beds and bushes and various softly furnished lounge areas on different levels – all with uplit lighting for maximum impact after dark on balmy Dublin evenings.
Overlooking Sam Stephenson’s ‘Bunker’ Corpo offices on Wood Quay and with a direct view of Christ Church’s tower, No38 was often lit up in celebration long after the Corporation’s lights had gone out. The rooftop party garden measures 624 square feet, or the footprint of an average two-bedroom apartment.
Inside, Penthouse #38 is spread over two floors and measures 1,055 square feet, which is the footprint of an average three-bedroom duplex.
The entrance hall has a floating glass staircase to the first floor, there is a utility room and the master double bedroom has a dual aspect, with views over Fishamble Street and Christ Church. There are fitted wardrobes and a large bathroom with a multi-jet rain shower.
The second double bedroom has a large picture window and fitted wardrobes. The main bathroom is fitted with a bath and a shower.
Upstairs is the open plan living and dining room which faces south for the sun and is enhanced by wraparound windows and a sliding glass door to the first floor balcony.
The SieMatic kitchen features flagstone countertops, a sleek island with integrated appliances, and an American-style fridge/freezer. A dining balcony juts out and overlooks Christ Church, and a spiral staircase leads up to the party zone with 360-degree views.
With a price tag of €875,000, it’s like a D8 terrace with three beds. Party animals scouring the city for the perfect pad are sure to exclaim, “Hallelujah!”
https://www.independent.ie/life/home-garden/city-centre-rooftop-hot-tub-where-handel-premiered-one-of-his-greatest-hits-41972414.html Rooftop jacuzzi in the city center where Handel premiered one of his greatest hits