Opera and the Enlightenment

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This is the first collection of essays to explore the wide dimensions and influence of eighteenth-century opera. In a series of fresh articles by leading scholars in the field, new perspectives are offered on the important figures of the day, including Handel, Vivaldi, Gluck, Rameau, and Mozart, and on the fundamental problems of creation, revision, borrowing, influence, and intertextuality. Other essays reinterpret librettos of serious opera in the French and Italian theater during the later eighteenth century. Sister arts, notably painting, the novel, ballet, and the spoken stage are also examined in their relationship to the development of opera. Bracketing the collection are studies of the early pastoral opera and of Prokofief, which expand our historical view of operatic life during the Age of Reason. The book contains numerous rare illustrations, and will be of interest to scholars and students of opera and theater history.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...this collection can be seen to have something for everbody wishing to delve into the artistic world of the eighteenth century. If the title is slightly misleading, this is more than made up for by the breadth of the subject matter and the approach of the authors to an extremely complex period." The Opera Journal

"...because most of the material is so inherently interesting, readers are less likely to feel misled by the book's title than delightfully surprised by the rich variety of topics it encapsulates. Editors Thomas Bauman and Maria Petzoldt McClaymonds sustain a unified scholarly tone from cover to cover without stifling the individuality of style and subject matter found in fifteen contributions." E. Thomas Glasow, Opera Quarterly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521034777
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2006
  • Pages: 332
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

List of plates
Library abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 Pastoral and musical magic in the birth of opera 7
2 Moralizing at the tomb: Poussin's Arcadian shepherds in eighteenth-century England and Germany 23
3 Dr. Burney, the bear, and the knight: E. F. Burney's Amateurs of Tye-Wig Music 43
4 New light(s) on Weber's Wolf's Glen Scene 61
5 Sinfonia and drama in early eighteenth-century opera seria 91
6 The dramatic role of the chorus in French opera: evidence for the use of gesture, 1670-1770 105
7 Transforming opera seria: Verazi's innovations and their impact on opera in Italy 119
8 Handel's Serse 135
9 The "sweet song" in Demofoonte: a Gluck borrowing from Handel 168
10 Zephire et Flore: a "galant" early ballet by Angiolini and Gluck 189
11 Gluck's Iphigenia operas: sources and strategies 217
12 The "storm" music of Beaumarchais' Barbier de Seville 243
13 On Don Giovanni, No. 2 260
14 Leopold II, Mozart, and the return to a Golden Age 271
15 From fairy tale to opera in four moves (not so simple) 299
Index 308
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