1st Edition

London Opera Observed 1711–1844, Volume III 1783-1792

Edited By Michael Burden Copyright 2013
    302 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.

    A Lady of Fashion, A Descriptive Plan of the New Opera House ([1783])

    The Opera House Disputes I

    [Anon.], The Opera Rumpus; or, Ladies in the Wrong Box! (1783)

    [Anon.], The Case of the Opera-House Disputes, Fairly Stated (1784)

    [Anon.], The Testament, or Will, of Mr. William Taylor (1785)

    Giusto Fernandino Tenducci, ‘To the Public’, from Ranieri de Calzabigi, Orpheus and Eurydice, a Musical Drama (1785)

    Robert Nares, Remarks on the Favourite Ballet of Cupid and Psyche (1788)

    John Brown, Letters upon the Poetry and Music of the Italian Opera (1789)

    Anthony A. Le Texier, Ideas on the Opera (17900

    The Opera House Disputes II

    Robert Bray O’Reilly, An Authentic Narrative of the Principle Circumstances Relating to the Opera-House in the Hay-Market (1791)

    William Taylor, A Concise Statement of the Transactions and Circumstances Respecting the King’s Theatre (1791)

    Henry Tresham, Description of the Allegory, Painted for the Curtain of the King’s Theatre Pantheon (1791)

    The ‘Life’ of Mrs Billington

    [Anon.], Memoirs of Mrs Billington (1792)

    [Anon.], An Answer to the Memoirs of Mrs. Billington (1792)

    Four Singers’ Biographies, Joseph Haslewood, The Secret History of the Green Room (1793)