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Italian Opera in Late Eighteenth-Century London: Volume 1: The King's Theatre, Haymarket, 1778-1791 - Italian Opera in Late Eighteenth-Century London (Hardback)
  • Italian Opera in Late Eighteenth-Century London: Volume 1: The King's Theatre, Haymarket, 1778-1791 - Italian Opera in Late Eighteenth-Century London (Hardback)
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Italian Opera in Late Eighteenth-Century London: Volume 1: The King's Theatre, Haymarket, 1778-1791 - Italian Opera in Late Eighteenth-Century London (Hardback)

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£172.50
Hardback 736 Pages / Published: 23/02/1995
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This interdisciplinary study attempts to make sense of what has long been regarded as a chaotic period in the history of opera in London. In 1778 R. B. Sheridan acquired the King's Theatre and its resident opera company in what we would now call a leveraged buy-out, plunging the opera into escalating debts that were to haunt it into the 1840s. The 1780s and early 1790s were a stormy but exciting era: the company hired some of the foremost singers and dancers in Europe; ballet d'action came to London, with Noverre himself as ballet master; the company employed such composers as Sacchini, Anfossi, Cherubini and ultimately Haydn; it went bankrupt and carried on through years of wrangling in Canchery; the King's Theatre burned down in 1789 and was rebuilt and re-opened in defiance of the Lord Chamberlain's refusal to license the new building. Drawing on librettos and scores, ballet scenarios, pamphlets, scattered manuscripts, legal records, architectural drawings, newspapers and other sources, the authors reconstruct the history of the company its shifting artistic policies, analysing opera and ballet repertoy, performers, production circumstances, finances and managerial infighting.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198161660
Number of pages: 736
Weight: 1340 g
Dimensions: 242 x 162 x 45 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This new study provides some enlightening insights into the business side of 18th-century musical London ... it is compulsive reading for anyone who loves finding out about laundry receipts, diary entries by members of audiences, reviews in contemporary newspapers and the like. * Classical Music, June/July 1995 *
Seven-hundred pages allow a rich, thorough treatment of theater, personnel and music that is unlikely ever to be superseded, so the responsibility of the authors is to be as fair as they are industrious. As far as I can see, they have suceeded in being both while remaining user-friendly in their writing style - direct, readable, warm and alive to the humourous and less reputable parts of the story...The sure handling of such written sources as Susan Burney's previously unused letter-journal allows me to assume that the musical examples have been as fairly chosed as they are neatly laid out. * Albion *
...lavishly-documented and richly entertaining book...an admirably clear and sensible narrative, often enlivened by flashes of humour...this is an outstanding contribution to the history of opera in England. * The Musical Times *
This authorative book...will be essential to a limited readership in the fields of English music and theatre. * Choice *
Price, Milhous and Hume evoke this lost operatic world with nice touches of detail...their portrait of a decade is a valuable one...their careful chronicling and lively commentary throw up a lot of evidence which has a cummulative effect. * Time Literary Supplement *
This is the first volume of a study that sets out to explore what amounts to virgin territory ... it is a fascinating story, elegantly told. One looks forward to its continuation in Vol. II. * Julian Budden, Opera *
massive work of scrupulous scholarship ... a most impressive achievement, which has probably said the last word on London opera in this period * Winton Dean, Music and Letters, Vol. 77, No. 2, May '96 *
remarkable book ... The detail is ample but never otiose ... outstanding study. * John Rosselli, British Journal for Eighteenth-century Studies, Vol. 19, Pt 2 *

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