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Italian Opera in Late Eighteenth-Century London : Volume One: The King's Theatre, Haymarket, 1778-1791 - Curtis Price

Italian Opera in Late Eighteenth-Century London

Volume One: The King's Theatre, Haymarket, 1778-1791

Hardcover Published: 23rd February 1995
ISBN: 9780198161660
Number Of Pages: 544

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This interdisciplinary study attempts to make sense of what has long been regarded as a chaotic period in the history of opera in London. In 1778, R.B. Sheridan acquired the King's Theatre and its resident opera company in what we would now call a leveraged buy-out, plunging the opera into escalating debts that were to haunt it into the 1840s. The 1780s and early 1790s were a stormy but exciting era: the company hired some of the foremost singers and dancers in Europe; ballet d'action came to London, with Noverre himself as ballet master; the company employed such composers as Sacchini, Anfossi, Cherubini and ultimately Haydn; it went bankrupt and carried on through years of wrangling in chancery; the King's Theatre burned down in 1789 and was rebuilt and re-opened in defiance of the Lord Chamberlain's refusal to license the new building. Drawing on libretti and scores, ballet scenarios, pamphlets, scattered manuscripts, legal records, architectural drawings, newspapers, and other sources, the authors reconstruct the history of the company and its shifting artistic policies, analyzing opera and ballet repertory, performers, production circumstances, finances, and managerial infighting.

Industry Reviews

`This new study provides some enlightening insights into the business side of 18th-century musical London ... it is compulsive reading for anyone who loves finding out about laundry receipts, diary entries by members of audiences, reviews in contemporary newspapers and the like.' Classical Music, June/July 1995 `Seven-hundred pages allow a rich, thorough treatment of theater, personnel and music that is unlikely ever to be superseded, so the responsibility of the authors is to be as fair as they are industrious. As far as I can see, they have suceeded in being both while remaining user-friendly in their writing style - direct, readable, warm and alive to the humourous and less reputable parts of the story...The sure handling of such written sources as Susan Burney's previously unused letter-journal allows me to assume that the musical examples have been as fairly chosed as they are neatly laid out.' Albion `...lavishly-documented and richly entertaining book...an admirably clear and sensible narrative, often enlivened by flashes of humour...this is an outstanding contribution to the history of opera in England.' The Musical Times `This authorative book...will be essential to a limited readership in the fields of English music and theatre.' Choice `Price, Milhous and Hume evoke this lost operatic world with nice touches of detail...their portrait of a decade is a valuable one...their careful chronicling and lively commentary throw up a lot of evidence which has a cummulative effect.' Time Literary Supplement `This is the first volume of a study that sets out to explore what amounts to virgin territory ... it is a fascinating story, elegantly told. One looks forward to its continuation in Vol. II.' Julian Budden, Opera `massive work of scrupulous scholarship ... a most impressive achievement, which has probably said the last word on London opera in this period' Winton Dean, Music and Letters, Vol. 77, No. 2, May '96 `remarkable book ... The detail is ample but never otiose ... outstanding study.' John Rosselli, British Journal for Eighteenth-century Studies, Vol. 19, Pt 2

List of Platesp. xviii
List of Tablesp. xx
A Note on Names, Titles, and Quotation Policyp. xxi
Abbreviations and Works Frequently Citedp. xxii
The Italian Opera Establishment in Londonp. 1
The Old Opera Establishmentp. 2
Views of Opera, 1750-1790p. 8
London Style and Practice in the 1780sp. 27
The King's Theatre, Haymarket, 1705-1789p. 41
The Outlook in 1778p. 52
Ownership, Management, and Financesp. 55
The Sheridan-Harris Administration, 1778-1781p. 56
The First Taylor Regime, 1781-1783p. 66
Interregnum: Gallini versus Taylor's Trustees, 1783-1785p. 74
Gallini in Command, 1785-1790p. 89
A Summary of Opera Company Finances, 1778-1789p. 106
Daily Operations and the Production Processp. 112
The Structure of the Companyp. 112
Recruitment and Salariesp. 123
House Managementp. 134
Scenery, Properties, and Costumesp. 143
Lighting and Special Effectsp. 165
Some Notes on Performance Practicep. 172
Opera under Sheridan (1778-1781)p. 182
The Musical Establishment under Sheridanp. 183
The 1777-78 Season: The Co-Managers' Swan-Songp. 193
The 1778-79 Season: Pacchierotti's Debutp. 202
The 1779-80 Season: Le Texier's Downfallp. 220
The 1780-81 Season: Ansani versus Roncagliap. 249
Opera under Taylor and his Trustees (1781-1785)p. 260
The 1781-82 Season: Sacchini's 'Disgrace'p. 262
The 1782-83 Season: Taylor's Annus horribilisp. 284
The 1783-84 Season: Gallini versus Taylor's Trusteesp. 297
The 1784-85 Season: Artistic Limbop. 319
Opera under Gallini (1785-1790)p. 335
The 1785-86 Season: Gallini versus the Lord Chamberlainp. 340
The 1786-87 Season: The Storaces' Returnp. 360
The 1787-88 Season: Marchesi Arrives; Storace Suesp. 383
The 1788-89 Season: Apogee and Immolationp. 408
The 1789-90 Season: At the Little Haymarketp. 423
The Balletp. 437
The Dance Companyp. 439
The Ballet d'action Comes to London, 1778-1781p. 444
Noverre in London, 1781-82p. 461
Lepicq and Dauberval, 1782-1785p. 479
The Gallini Regime, 1785-1790p. 507
The State of Ballet in London in 1790p. 536
Fire and Rebuilding, 1789-1791p. 540
The Destruction of the Old Theatrep. 541
Competing Plans, Summer-Autumn 1789p. 543
Financing the New Theatre, January-April 1790p. 547
The Leicester Square Theatre Patent Hearings, April 1790p. 551
The Battle over the Site, July-December 1790p. 558
The New King's Theatre, Haymarketp. 562
Haydn and the Opening of the New Theatre, Spring 1791p. 575
The Failure of Merger Negotiationsp. 576
Salisbury and the Licensing Disputep. 579
'Rehearsals' and 'Entertainments' at the New Theatrep. 587
Haydn's L'anima del filosofop. 595
Ballet at the New Theatrep. 602
The New Theatre in Limbop. 616
Chancery Materials on Opera, 1778-1790p. 621
William Taylor's Creditorsp. 631
Joseph Hayling's Lighting and Tinkering Accountsp. 639
Noverre's Scenario for Rinaldo and Armida (1782)p. 657
Indexp. 663
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780198161660
ISBN-10: 0198161662
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 544
Published: 23rd February 1995
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 4.45
Weight (kg): 1.34