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Handel and His Singers: The Creation of the Royal Academy Operas, 1720-1728

Overview

From the early 18th century until the present day, opera seria as practised by Handel and his contemporaries has been the subject of satire and even derision for its dramatic artifice and virtuosic displays. Close examination of Handel's autograph manuscripts, the librettos upon which they were based, and other contemporary documents, reveal the extent to which Handel was influenced by his singers and their abilities in creating his commercially successful and dramatically effective operas. Drawing on evidence ...
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Overview

From the early 18th century until the present day, opera seria as practised by Handel and his contemporaries has been the subject of satire and even derision for its dramatic artifice and virtuosic displays. Close examination of Handel's autograph manuscripts, the librettos upon which they were based, and other contemporary documents, reveal the extent to which Handel was influenced by his singers and their abilities in creating his commercially successful and dramatically effective operas. Drawing on evidence from these sources, the author demonstrates the fact that Handel's singers (such as Francesco Borosini, Margherita Durastanti, Francesca Cuzzoni, and Faustina Bordoni) were the single most important influence on his opera composition during his tenure as composer and music director of the Royal Academy of Music from 1719-28.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
List of Music Examples
Abbreviations
1 Cast, Librettist, Composer 1
2 A General Description of the Sources 8
3 Francesco Borosini and the Two First Versions of Tamerlano (1724) 17
4 Margherita Durastanti as Leading Man and Leading Woman 80
5 Senesino and the Heroic-Anti-Heroic Male Role 105
6 The Singer as Specific Character Type 125
7 Francesca Cuzzoni and Faustina Bordoni: The Rival Queens 144
8 Conclusion 182
Appendix 1. Synopsis of Piovene's Tamerlano (1710) 191
Appendix 2. Comparison of Piovene, Tamerlano (1710) with Haym, Tamerlano (23 July 1724) 195
Appendix 3. Projected and Actual Casts for the First Season of the Royal Academy of Music, 1720-1721 203
Bibliography 205
Index 211
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