The Pre-history of ‘The Midsummer Marriage’: Narratives and Speculations

1st Edition

Roger Savage

July 24, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 151 Pages - 7 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780367243166 - CAT# K422763
Series: Royal Musical Association Monographs

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The Pre-History of ‘The Midsummer Marriage’ examines the early collaborative phase (1943 to 1946) in the making of Michael Tippett’s first mature opera and charts the developments that grew out of that phase.

Drawing on a fascinating group of Tippett’s sketchbooks and a lengthy sequence of his letters to Douglas Newton, it helps construct a narrative of the Tippett-Newton collaboration as well as providing insights into the devising of the opera’s plot, both in that early phase and in the phase from 1946 onward when Tippett went on with the project alone.

The book asks: Who was Newton and what kind of collaboration did he have—then cease to have— with Tippett?

What were the origins of and shaping factors behind the original scenario and libretto-drafts?

How far did the narrative and controlling concepts of Midsummer Marriage in its final form tally with—and how far move away from—those that had been set up in the years of the two men’s collaboration: the ‘pre-historic’ years?

The book will be of particular interest to scholars and researchers in opera studies and twentieth-century music.

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