1st Edition

Masque and Opera in England, 1656-1688

By Andrew Walkling Copyright 2017
    398 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    376 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Masque and Opera in England, 1656–1688 presents a comprehensive study of the development of court masque and through-composed opera in England from the mid-1650s to the Revolution of 1688–89. In seeking to address the problem of generic categorization within a highly fragmentary corpus for which a limited amount of documentation survives, Walkling argues that our understanding of the distinctions between masque and opera must be premised upon a thorough knowledge of theatrical context and performance circumstances. Using extensive archival and literary evidence, detailed textual readings, rigorous tabular analysis, and meticulous collation of bibliographical and musical sources, this interdisciplinary study offers a host of new insights into a body of work that has long been of interest to musicologists, theatre historians, literary scholars and historians of Restoration court and political culture, but which has hitherto been imperfectly understood.

    A companion volume will explore the phenomenon of "dramatick opera" and its precursors on London’s public stages between the early 1660s and the first decade of the eighteenth century.

    List of Figures, Diagrams and Examples  List of Tables  Acknowledgements  Notes to the Reader  Introduction: Comparing Apples and Tomatoes: The Problematics of Restoration Masque and Opera 1  PART I: "Their greatest gallantry imaginable": Masques, Balls, and "Recreational" Acting at Court  1 Balls and the Growth of Shrovetide Entertainments  2 Youthful "Recreational" Theatrics, 1668–75  3 Masques and Plays at Court after 1675  PART II: "For such uses as the King shall direct": Through-Composed Opera, Foreign Musicians, and the Royall Academy of Musick  4 Operatic Experiments of the 1650s  5 Foreign Musicians at the Restoration Court, 1660–73  6 The Royall Academy of Musick, 1673–75  7 French Musicians at Court, 1675–89  8 Through-Composed Drama in the 1680s  Appendix A: Transcription of National Archives, London, AO1/2053/28, ff. 4v–5r(Costumes for 1667 Court Ball)  Appendix B: Letters Relating to Lord Sunderland’s Court Ballet, 1686  Appendix C: Instrumental Music Associated with Early Operas and Masques Found in Contemporary Printed Collections, 1662–c.1725  Selected Bibliography  Index


    Andrew R. Walkling is Associate Professor of Art History, English, and Theatre at Binghamton University (State University of New York, USA). He received his Ph.D. 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.

    "All in all, this study represents an outstanding contribution to cultural research, and should be on the shelves of every specialist music library." --Robert Manning, The Consort Early Music Journal, vol.74, Summer 2018

    "Everything about this book emanates its author’s encyclopaedic knowledge of and profound commitment to his material. Walkling peruses a plethora of sources, from royal orders, briefs, letters, petitions, registers and Warrant Books to prefaces, newspaper reports and the occasional (auto)biography" -- Katherina Lindekens, Oxford University Press