Opera and Drama in Eighteenth-Century London: The King's Theatre, Garrick and the Business of Performance

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This book explores the cultural and commercial life of Italian opera in late eighteenth-century London. Through primary sources, many analyzed for the first time, Ian Woodfield examines such issues as finances, recruitment policy, handling of singers and composers, links with Paris and Italy, and the role of women in opera management. These key topics are also placed within the context of a dispute between two of the most important managers of the day, Frances Brooke and David Garrick, and the major venues of the time: the King's Theatre and its rivals Drury Lane and Covent Garden.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'… well organised, superbly written and scrupulously documented. Woodfield's riveting study demonstrates the importance of appreciating the varied forces that shaped opera in London during the eighteenth century.' Eighteenth-Century Music

'The author is successful in reconstructing what is in total a fascinating picture of the ins and outs of opera management … an important piece of the historical jigsaw of London theatrical life.' Opera Magazine

'In his hands the period springs vibrantly to life … Scholarship with a human face - wonderful stuff!' International Record Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521028837
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2006
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Opera Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 356
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Ian Woodfield is Professor of Historical Musicology at The Queen's University of Belfast.

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Table of Contents

List of tables
List of musical examples
A note on conventions
Introduction 1
1 The Hobart management 19
2 The new managers take control 29
3 Sacchini and the revival of opera seria 40
4 Recruitment procedures and artistic policy 52
5 The King's Theatre in crisis 60
6 The recruitment of Lovattini 77
7 The English community in Rome 93
8 Lucrezia Agujari at the Pantheon 105
9 Caterina Gabrielli 121
10 Rauzzini's last season 131
11 The King's Theatre flourishes 153
12 The Queen of Quavers satire 166
13 Financial management 182
14 Opera salaries 198
15 The sale of 1778 215
App. 1a The accounts of Richard Yates and James Brooke at Henry Hoare & Co. (1773-1777) 234
App. 1b The customers account ledgers of Sheridan and Harris (1778-1779) 251
App. 1c Selected entries from the account of Jonathan Garton at Drummonds Bank (1778-1779) 257
App. 1d The account of Gasparo Pacchierotti at Coutts & Co. (1779-1784) 258
App. 1e A page of opera payments and receipts in the Salt MSS (1780) 263
App. 2a Petition to the Lord Chamberlain (c. 1770) 265
App. 2b Petition to the Lord Chamberlain (c. 1775) 269
App. 2c Draft petition to the Lord Chamberlain from Sheridan and Harris (1777) 272
App. 3a Journal Etranger, No. 1 (June 1777) 276
App. 3b Opera reviews from Journal Etranger (1777-1778) 283
Notes 295
Bibliography 323
Index 331
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