1st Edition

The Lively Arts of the London Stage, 1675–1725

Edited By Kathryn Lowerre Copyright 2014

    Unlike collections of essays which focus on a single century or whose authors are drawn from a single discipline, this collection reflects the myriad performance options available to London audiences, offering readers a composite portrait of the music, drama, and dance productions that characterized this rich period. Just as the performing arts were deeply interrelated, the essays presented here, by scholars from a range of fields, engage in dialogue with others in the volume. The opening section examines a famous series of 1701 performances based on the competition between composers to set William Congreve's masque The Judgment of Paris to music. The essays in the central section (the 'mainpiece') showcase performers and productions on the London stage from a variety of perspectives, including English 'tastes' in art and music, the use of dance, the depiction of madness and masculinity in both spoken and musical performances, and genres and modes in the context of contemporary criticism and theatrical practice. A brief afterpiece looks at comic pieces in relation to satire, parody and homage. By bringing together work by scholars of music, dance, and drama, this cross-disciplinary collection illuminates the interconnecting strands that shaped a vibrant theatrical world.

    Contents: Introduction. Part I First, Music: Settings of Congreve’s Judgment of Paris: The singers of The Judgment of Paris, Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson; Harmonia Anglicana or why finger failed in ’the price musick’, Robert Rawson; The ’prize musick’ of 1701: a reinvestigation of the staging issue, Matt Robertson. Part II Mainpiece: The Lively Arts of the London Stage: Composing after the Italian manner: the English cantata 1700-1710, Jennifer Cable; Johann Pepusch, aesthetics, and the sister arts, Sean M. Parr; From Scaramouche to Harlequin: dances ’in grotesque characters’ on the London stage, Jennifer Thorp; Music, magic, and morality: stage reform and the pastoral mode, Timothy Neufeldt; Madness ’free from vice’: musical eroticism in the pastoral world of The Fickle Shepherdess, Amanda Eubanks Winkler; ’Let all be husht’: songs in praise of Anne Bracegirdle and Arabella Hunt, Anthony Rooley; Burning and stoic men: mad rants and the performance of passionate pain in the plays of Nathaniel Lee, 1674 to1678, Jennifer Renee Danby; Appreciating Bononcini’s Astianatte (1727): an Italian opera for the London stage, Suzana OgrajenÅ¡ek. Part III Afterpiece: Comedy, Farce, and Competition: The right to write; or, Colley Cibber and The Drury-Lane Monster, Melissa Bloom Bissonette; ’Quotation is the sincerest form of ...’?: signature songs as inter-theatrical references, Kathryn Lowerre. Bibliography; Index.


    Kathryn Lowerre is a musicologist and an editor of John Eccles’ collected works (A-R Editions). She has taught at Michigan State University, Colby College, and the University of Michigan, USA.

    '... a fascinating collection of approaches to the London stage during a critical period.' Ellen T. Harris, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA 'This book is both a valuable resource and a worthy example of interdisciplinary collaboration. May it provoke fruitful discussion and discerning appreciation of the variety that was to be found on the London stage around the turn of the eighteenth century.' Historical Dance Journal 'The Lively Arts differs from its predecessors in the series because it is a collection of essays, and herein lies its richest contribution ... [it] enhances our own discipline and opens the door to meaningful dialogue with other scholars. We look forward to this interchange and to other similar contributions that help us to see music and the arts in practice in early modern England.' North American British Music Studies Association 'I highly recommend this book. Its wide range should appeal to anyone with an interest in the London theatre around 1700. It is easy and often amusing to read, making it accessible for the amateur, but it is also scholarly, presenting original material which is well referenced, with useful footnotes and an extensive bibliography.' The Consort 'This collection of articles gives a kaleidoscopic view of London stage entertainments, from tragedy to bawdy songs. The scholarship is rich, thanks to the expertise of many of the authors, the data they have marshalled in tables and appendices, and the variety of disciplines represented: theatre, dance, music and literature. There are important findings here.' Early Music