Handel and Cuzzoni

Comic caricature depicting when Italian soprano Francesca Cuzzoni behaved like a diva and her stubborn refusal to do as she was told caused friction with the equally tenacious Handel. John Mainwaring, Handel’s first biographer, describes an incident where Handel threatened to throw Cuzzoni out of the window, exclaiming ‘Oh! Madame I know that you are a she-devil, but I am Beelzebub, the chief of Devils’.