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

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; Acknowledgements; A note on conventions; Introduction; 1. The Hobart management; 2. The new managers take control; 3. Sacchini and the revival of opera seria; 4. Recruitment procedures and artistic policy; 5. The King's Theatre in crisis; 6. The recruitment of Lovattini; 7. The English community in Rome; 8. Lucrezia Agujari at the Pantheon; 9. Caterina Gabrielli; 10. Rauzzini's last season; 11. The King's Theatre flourishes; 12. The Queen of Quavers satire; 13. Financial management; 14. Opera salaries; 15. The sale of 1778; Appendices; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

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