Opera in the first half of the eighteenth century saw the rise of the memorable composer and the memorable work. Recent research on this period has been especially fruitful, showing renewed interest in how opera operated within its local cultures, what audience members felt was at stake in opera performances, who the people-composers and performers-were who made opera possible. The essays for this volume capture the principal themes of current research: the "idea" of opera, opera criticism, the people of opera, and the emerging technologies of opera.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; Part I Librettos: Why early opera is Roman not Greek, Robert C. Ketterer; Staging an opera: letters from the Cesarian poet, Roger Savage; Dramatic dualities: opera pairs from Minato to Metastasio, Reinhard Strohm; Metastasio on the Spanish stage: operatic adaptations in the public theatres of Madrid in the 1730s, José-MÃ¡ximo Leza; 'Le théÃ¢tre ne change qu'Ã la troisième scène': the hand of the author and unity of place in Act V of Hippolyte et Aricie, Geoffrey Burgess; The Beggar's Opera and opéra-comique en vaudevilles, Daniel Heartz; 'His spirit is in action seen': Milton, Mrs Clive and the simulacra of the pastoral in Comus, Berta Joncus. Part II Gender: Reforming Achilles: gender, opera seria, and the rhetoric of the enlightened hero, Wendy Heller; Female operatic cross-dressing: Bernado Saddumene's libretto for Leonardo Vinci's Li zite 'n galera, Nina Treadwell; Of women, sex, and folly: opera under the old regime, Georgia Cowart; The castrato as history, Katherine Bergeron. Part III Theatres and Performing: 'An infinity of factions': opera in 18th-century Britain and the undoing of society, Suzanne Aspden; Ignaz Holzbauer and the origins of German opera in Vienna, Lawrence Bennett; Heidegger and the management of the Haymarket Opera, 1713-17, Judith Milhous and Robert D. Hume; Farinelli in Madrid: opera, politics, and the War of Jenkins' Ear, Thomas McGeary; An 18th-century singer's commission of 'baggage' arias, Daniel E. Freeman; Staging and its dramatic effect in French baroque opera: evidence from prompt notes, Antonia L. Banducci; The Paris Opéra chorus during the time of Rameau, Mary Cyr; What recitatives owe to the airs: a look at the dialogue scene, Act 1 Scene 2 of Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie - version with airs, Cynthia Verba. Part IV Handel: Irony and borrowing in Handel's 'Agrippina', John E. Sawyer; Classical history and Handel's 'Alessandro', Richard G. King; Dejanira and the physicians: aspects of hysteria i
'...there is much here to stimulate and enhance the enjoyment of the thoughtful opera-goer, while at the same time there is much food for thought for performers, and above all producers...' Opera