English Dramatick Opera, 1661–1706: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

English Dramatick Opera, 1661–1706

1st Edition

By Andrew R. Walkling

Routledge

344 pages | 29 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138696549
pub: 2019-04-08
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Description

English Dramatick Opera, 1661–1706 is the first comprehensive examination of the distinctively English form known as "dramatick opera", which appeared on the London stage in the mid-1670s and lasted until its displacement by Italian through-composed opera in the first decade of the eighteenth century. Andrew Walkling argues that, while the musical elements of this form are crucial to its definition and history, the origins of the genre lie principally in a tradition of spectacular stagecraft that first manifested itself in England in the mid-1660s as part of a hitherto unidentified dramatic sub-genre, to which Walkling gives the name "spectacle-tragedy".

Armed with this new understanding, the book explores a number of historical and interpretive issues, including the physical and rhetorical configurations of performative spectacle, the administrative maneuverings of the two "patent" theatre companies, the construction and deployment of the technologically advanced Dorset Garden Theatre in 1670–71, the critical response to generic, technical, and ideological developments in Restoration drama, and the shifting balance between machine spectacle and song-and-dance entertainment throughout the later decades of the seventeenth century, including in the dramatick operas of Henry Purcell. This study combines the materials and methodologies of music history, theatre history, literary studies, and bibliography to fashion an entirely new approach to the history of spectacular and musical drama on the English Restoration stage.

This book serves as a companion to the Routledge publication Masque and Opera in England, 1656–1688 (2017).

Table of Contents

1. Machine technology and diegetic supernaturalism on the English public stage, 1661–71 2. "Spectacle-tragedy" and the shifting fortunes of the patent theatres 3. The rise of dramatick opera, 1673–75 4. Responses to dramatick opera, 1674–81 5. Dramatick opera in the 1680s: perversions and palimpsests 6. Dramatick opera in the 1690s and beyond

About the Author

Andrew R. Walkling is Associate Professor of Art History, English, and Theatre at Binghamton University (State University of New York, USA). He received his PhD in British History from Cornell University, and has published widely on court culture and cultural production in Restoration England, and on the music of Henry Purcell.

About the Series

Ashgate Interdisciplinary Studies in Opera

Ashgate Interdisciplinary Studies in Opera
The Ashgate Interdisciplinary Studies in Opera series provides a centralized and prominent forum for the presentation of cutting-edge scholarship that draws on numerous disciplinary approaches to a wide range of subjects associated with the creation, performance, and reception of opera (and related genres) in various historical and social contexts. There is great need for a broader approach to scholarship about opera. In recent years, the course of study has developed significantly, going beyond traditional musicological approaches to reflect new perspectives from literary criticism and comparative literature, cultural history, philosophy, art history, theatre history, gender studies, film studies, political science, philology, psycho-analysis, and medicine. The new brands of scholarship have allowed a more comprehensive interrogation of the complex nexus of means of artistic expression operative in opera, one that has meaningfully challenged prevalent historicist and formalist musical approaches. The Ashgate Interdisciplinary Studies in Opera series continues to move this important trend forward by including essay collections and monographs that reflect the ever-increasing interest in opera in non-musical contexts. Books in the series are linked by their emphasis on the study of a single genre - opera - yet are distinguished by their individualized and novel approaches by scholars from various disciplines/fields of inquiry. The remit of the series welcomes studies of seventeenth century to contemporary opera from all geographical locations, including non-Western topics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUS000000
MUSIC / General
MUS028000
MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Opera