George Fredrick Handel was born in Germany in 1685. Unlike most composers of the time, he did not come from a musical family. His innate musical talent was recognized at a very young age, but his family did not support the development of his musical career. On the contrary, his father wished George to pursue a career in law. Nonetheless, George stuck with music.
He began studying with a local organist by the name of F. W. Zachow. Zachow taught young George the fundamentals of keyboarding and composition. At the age of thirteen, Handel visited Berlin, where he impressed the top Italian composers of the time. In fact, they were so impressed in him they offered to send him to study music in Italy. His family refused this offer. Instead, he studied law at the university of Halle, and was deputy to the organist at the cathedral.
In 1703 Handel moved to Hamburg in search of bigger and better things musically.
He joined the Hamburg Opera Orchestra as a second violin and harpsichordist, before he became the maestro of the orchestra. Handel wrote three operas here. Almira was performed in 1705, and was followed by his Nero. While Ammira was considered successful, Nero wasn't held in high respects. As for his third opera, it was never performed, for when it was finished, Handel decided to refine his opera writing in the center of it, Italy. (The third opera hasn't survived to present day.)
Handel spent three years in Italy traveling through Florence, Rome, Naples and Venice. Over this three year time period, Handel mastered the Italian style of composing music. He performed operas and oratorios in these cities, and also composed Church music.
He left Italy in 1710 and went to Hanover, where he was appointed Kapellmeister to the elector.