1st Edition

London Opera Observed 1711–1844, Volume V 1821-1844

Edited By Michael Burden Copyright 2013
    404 Pages
    by Routledge

    The thrust of these five volumes is contained in their title, London Opera Observ’d. It takes its cue from the numerous texts and volumes which — during the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries — used the concept of ‘spying’ or ‘observing’ by a narrator, or rambler, as a means of establishing a discourse on aspects of London life. The material in this five-volume reset edition examines opera not simply as a genre of performance, but as a wider topic of comment and debate. The stories that surrounded the Italian opera singers illuminate contemporary British attitudes towards performance, sexuality and national identity.

    The collection includes only complete, published material organised chronologically so as to accurately retain the contexts in which the original readers encountered them — placing an emphasis on rare texts that have not been reproduced in modern editions. The aim of this collection is not to provide a history of opera in England but to facilitate the writing of them or to assist those wishing to study topics within the field. Headnotes and footnotes establish the publication information and provide an introduction to the piece, its author, and the events surrounding it or which caused its publication. The notes concentrate on attempting to identify those figures mentioned within the texts. The approach is one of presentation, not interpretation, ensuring that the collection occupies a position that is neutral rather than polemical.

    Richard Mackenzie Bacon, Opera in England as Seen in the Quarterly Musical Magazine (1821-8)

    The Weber Phenomenon

    ‘Prefatory Remarks’ to Der Freyschütz (1824)

    [Anon.], Review of Der Freischütz (1824)

    [Anon.], Review of Oberon (1826)

    [Anon.], Vocal and Dramatic Institution, a Prospectus (1829)

    [Anon.], An Explanation of the Differences Between the Manager of the Italian Opera and the Non-Conforming Members of the Late Orchestra (1829)

    Thomas Monck Mason at the King’s Theatre

    Thomas Monck Mason, Prospectus of the Plan Intended to be Pursued in the Direction of the Italian Opera House (1831)

    Thomas Monck Mason, Programming the Arrangements at the King’s Theatre for the Season (1832)

    Herbert Rodwell’s National Opera

    G. Herbert Rodwell, A Letter to the Musicians of Great Britain (1833)

    G. Herbert Rodwell, Printed cover letter, National Opera Prospectus, and the handbill for the Musical Festival (1837)

    The Malibran Phenomenon

    W.H.O., Memoirs, Critical and Historical, of Madame Malibran de Beriot (1836)

    The Star of La Scala (1837)

    Her Majesties’ Theatre 1837-9, by an Amateur

    Her Majesties’ Theatre (1837)

    Hints on the Italian Opera in Italy, France, Germany and England (1839)

    George Egestorff, A Lecture on Music (1840)

    William Michael Balfe, English Opera House (1841)

    Henry Forthergill Chorley, ‘Music and the Drama’, a Review of Balfe’s The Daughter of St Mark (1844)

    [Anon.], ‘A Brief History of the Theatrical Question’, (1843)

    Editorial Notes



    Edited by Michael Burden