1st Edition

London Opera Observed 1711–1844, Volume I 1711-1763

Edited By Michael Burden Copyright 2013
    346 Pages
    by Routledge

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    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.


    General Introduction

    Select Bibliography

    Notes on the Text

    Aaron Hill, Preface to Giacomo Rossini, Rinaldo, an Opera (1711)

    Daniel Purcell, Preface to Six Cantatas for a Voice (1713)

    [Anon.], A Full and True Account of a Dreadful Fire that Lately Broke Out in the Pope’s Breeches (1713)

    Peter Anthony Motteaux, ‘To the Nobility and the Gentry,’ from Thomryis, Queen of Scythia, 4th edn (1719)

    Mr P. Aubert, Preface to Harlequin Hydaspes; or, the Greshamite (1719)

    John Terrasson, A Discourse Concerning the Opera (1720)

    [Anon.], A Letter from Signor Benedetto Baldassari (1720)

    [Anon.], Preface to Camilla, an Opera (1726)

    John Rich, Dedication to Lewis Theobold, The Rape of Proserpine (1727)

    The Devil to Pay at St. James’s, 1727

    [Anon.], The Devil to Pay at St. James’s (1727)

    [Anon.], A Little More of That Same (1727)

    Thomas Lediard, Prefatory Argument of a Description of the Transparent Theatre, from Britannia, an English Opera (1732)

    James Sterling, Prologue and Epilogue to John Dryden, King Arthur; or, Merlin, the British Inchanter (1736)

    John Dorman, ‘Some Memoirs of F_____i [Farinelli]’, from The Curiosity (1738)

    The Trouble with Orpheus, 1740

    John Hill, Orpheus: An English Opera (1740)

    John Rich, Mr Rich’s Answer to the Many Falsities and Calumnies Advanced by Mr. John Hill (1739)

    John Hill, An Answer to the Many Plain and Notorious Lyes Advanc’d by Mr. John Rich (1740)

    John Lockman, ‘An Enquiry into the Rise and Progress of Operas’, from Rosalinda, a Musical Drama (1740)

    John Dorman, Prologue and Epilogue to the Comedy of Pamela, with the Preface to Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded, an Opera (1742)

    John Lockman, ‘A Discourse on the Operas’, from Francesco Vanneschi, Fentonte; drama per il Teatro di S.M.B. (1747)

    Battling it Out Over the Italian Opera, 1753

    Giuseppi Baretti, A Scheme for Having an Italian Opera in London (1753)

    [Anon.], The Voice of Discord; or, the Battle of the Fiddles (1753)

    Edward Moore, The World, by Adam Fitz-Adam, no. 171 (1756)

    [Anon.], A Fair Enquiry into the State of Operas in England (1759)

    Goldoni, ‘Advertisement to the Reader’, from Carlo Goldini, Bertoldo, Bertoldino, e Cacasenno (1762)

    [Anon.], ‘On that Part of Dramatical Entertainments Called Singing’ (1763)

    Rioting at Artaxerxes, 1763

    John Beard, The Case Concerning the Late Disturbance at Convent-Garden Theatre (1763)

    A Lady, Theatrical Disquisitions; or, A Review of the Late Riot at Drury Lane Theatre (1763)

    [Anon.], Fitzgiggo, a New English Uproar (1763)

    [Anon.], The Second and Last Act of Fitzgiggo (1763)

    Murdoch O’Blaney (pseud.), Fitzgig’s Triumph (1763)

    [Anon.], ‘Fitzgig’s Triumph; or, the Power of Riot’ (1763)

    Editorial Notes