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The Opera House on the London stage

Abstract: The staging of drama in the 18th century London theatre was a process very unlike the one of today. While the prompter attended to many production details, there was no direction as such, and there was little consistent centralised control over the performances given by the actors. Further, plays, operas, and other genres were often re-worked and re-shaped during the rehearsal process, particularly if it was a new play, or an opera where the singers were exercising ‘choice of book’ by replacing their arias for ones they felt were more suitable. In an environment of such fluidity, little of this practice was the subject of official documentation, and many details have been lost. But the playwright and librettist themselves commented frequently in both spoken plays and opera librettos on the very institutions for which they were writing. This paper selects one drama - The Master of the Opera of 1737 - and choosing four case studies, traces the extent to it can illuminate a number of particular issues of theatrical practice; these include rehearsal procedures, performance conventions, and audience behaviour.

Publication status:Not PublishedPeer Review status:Not peer reviewedVersion:Updated Author's Original

Bibliographic Details

Copyright Date: 2010-03-21 Identifiers

Urn: uuid:4375e8ad-fda1-4e58-a166-bc46478bb6f0 Item Description

Type: Article, pre-print;

Language: en

Version: Updated Author's OriginalKeywords: opera performance London stagingSubjects: 18th Century music Opera Performance Tiny URL: ora:7942

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Author: Michael Burden - institutionUniversity of Oxford facultyHumanities Division - Music Faculty oxfordCollegeNew College - - - - Bibl

Source: https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:4375e8ad-fda1-4e58-a166-bc46478bb6f0



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