The Lively Arts of the London Stage, 1675–1725
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.
'... 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