From the outset, French opera generated an enormous diversity of literature, familiarity with which greatly enhances our understanding of this unique art form. Yet relatively little of that literature is available in English, despite an upsurge of interest in the Lully-Rameau period during the past two decades. This book presents a wide-ranging and informative picture of the organization and evolution of French Baroque opera, its aims and aspirations, its strengths and weaknesses. Drawing on official documents, theoretical writings, letters, diaries, dictionary entries, contemporary reviews and commentaries, it provides an often entertaining insight into Lully’s once-proud Royal Academy of Music and the colourful characters who surrounded it. The translated passages are set in context, and readers are directed to further scholarly and critical writings in English. Readers will find this new, updated edition easier to use with its revised and expanded translations, supplementary explanatory content and new illustrations.
From its origins in the 1670s through the French Revolution, serious opera in France was associated with the power of the absolute monarchy, and its ties to the crown remain at the heart of our understanding of this opera tradition (especially its foremost genre, the tragédie en musique). In Opera and the Political Imaginary in Old Regime France, however, Olivia Bloechl reveals another layer of French opera’s political theater. The make-believe worlds on stage, she shows, involved not just fantasies of sovereign rule but also aspects of government. Plot conflicts over public conduct, morality, security, and law thus appear side-by-side with tableaus hailing glorious majesty. What’s more, opera’s creators dispersed sovereign-like dignity and powers well beyond the genre’s larger-than-life rulers and gods, to its lovers, magicians, and artists. This speaks to the genre’s distinctive combination of a theological political vocabulary with a concern for mundane human capacities, which is explored here for the first time. By looking at the political relations among opera characters and choruses in recurring scenes of mourning, confession, punishment, and pardoning, we can glimpse a collective political experience underlying, and sometimes working against, ancienrégime absolutism. Through this lens, French opera of the period emerges as a deeply conservative, yet also more politically nuanced, genre than previously thought.
English Dramatick Opera, 1661–1706 is the first comprehensive examination of the distinctively English form known as "dramatick opera", which appeared on the London stage in the mid-1670s and lasted until its displacement by Italian through-composed opera in the first decade of the eighteenth century. Andrew Walkling argues that, while the musical elements of this form are crucial to its definition and history, the origins of the genre lie principally in a tradition of spectacular stagecraft that first manifested itself in England in the mid-1660s as part of a hitherto unidentified dramatic sub-genre, to which Walkling gives the name "spectacle-tragedy". Armed with this new understanding, the book explores a number of historical and interpretive issues, including the physical and rhetorical configurations of performative spectacle, the administrative maneuverings of the two "patent" theatre companies, the construction and deployment of the technologically advanced Dorset Garden Theatre in 1670–71, the critical response to generic, technical, and ideological developments in Restoration drama, and the shifting balance between machine spectacle and song-and-dance entertainment throughout the later decades of the seventeenth century, including in the dramatick operas of Henry Purcell. This study combines the materials and methodologies of music history, theatre history, literary studies, and bibliography to fashion an entirely new approach to the history of spectacular and musical drama on the English Restoration stage. This book serves as a companion to the Routledge publication Masque and Opera in England, 1656–1688 (2017).
This is a book recording the normal life of some ordinary Chinese with plenty of excellent essays and pictures. China boasts an ancient civilization of 5,000 years, which has nourished the hearts and souls of all Chinese and could also help explain all good and bad things in the characters of the Chinese nation. The ordinary Chinese have diversified experiences and destinies, and of course, different personalities, too. Nevertheless, they share many similarities which are deeply rooted in the country's ancient civilization. In this book the many diverse lives of some "ordinary" Chinese are brought together, uniting them as a people and yet granting them their undeniable individuality. In its second volume, Chinese Stories continues to deliver the stories of the everyday modern Chinese with all their diversity and unwavering devotion to hold on to their culture by tradition.
When first published in 1947, A Short History of Opera immediately achieved international status as a classic in the field. Now, more than five decades later, this thoroughly revised and expanded fourth edition informs and entertains opera lovers just as its predecessors have. The fourth edition incorporates new scholarship that traces the most important developments in the evolution of musical drama. After surveying anticipations of the operatic form in the lyric theater of the Greeks, medieval dramatic music, and other forerunners, the book reveals the genre's beginnings in the seventeenth century and follows its progress to the present day. A Short History of Opera examines not only the standard performance repertoire, but also works considered important for the genre's development. Its expanded scope investigates opera from Eastern European countries and Finland. The section on twentieth-century opera has been reorganized around national operatic traditions including a chapter devoted solely to opera in the United States, which incorporates material on the American musical and ties between classical opera and popular musical theater. A separate section on Chinese opera is also included. With an extensive multilanguage bibliography, more than one hundred musical examples, and stage illustrations, this authoritative one-volume survey will be invaluable to students and serious opera buffs. New fans will also find it highly accessible and informative. Extremely thorough in its coverage, A Short History of Opera is now more than ever the book to turn to for anyone who wants to know about the history of this art form.
Opera was invented at the end of the sixteenth century in imitation of the supposed style of delivery of ancient Greek tragedy, and, since then, operas based on Greek drama have been among the most important in the repertoire. This collection of essays by leading authorities in the fields of Classics, Musicology, Dance Studies, English Literature, Modern Languages, and Theatre Studies provides an exceptionally wide-ranging and detailed overview of the relationship between the two genres. Since tragedies have played a much larger part than comedies in this branch of operatic history, the volume mostly concentrates on the tragic repertoire, but a chapter on musical versions of Aristophanes' Lysistrata is included, as well as discussions of incidental music, a very important part of the musical reception of ancient drama, from Andrea Gabrieli in 1585 to Harrison Birtwistle and Judith Weir in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
Baroque music, not long ago considered the province of the specialist, now occupies a central place in the interests of any music-lover. Not just Bach and Handel, but Vivaldi and Monteverdi, Couperin and Rameau, Purcell and Schutz are familiar and loved figures. There is place now for a survey that offers fresh perspectives on these men and the times in which they lived. That is what the Companion to Baroque Music is designed to offer, to all those who are attracted by the music of thatcrucial century and a half, 1600-1750, which we call 'the Baroque era'. Julie Anne Sadie, herself scholar, performer, and critic, brings to this survey two novel features. First, it is underpinned by a keen awareness of music as sound, intended to be played, heard, and relished by the listener - as witness the group of articles contributed by well-known specialists, such as Nigel Rogers and David Fuller, on the central issues of performance. Secondly it is concerned not only with what the music is like but why it is as it is: and the series of essays, again by specialists, such as Michael Talbot (on Italy) and Peter Holman (on England) which places each region's music in its social and cultural contexts helps to explain its character. The lexicographical part of the book, in which the life of every significant musician of the era is charted and his or her work outlined, is subdivided geographically so as to convey with particular sharpness the special character of music-making in each part of Europe - and a system of cross-references defines the ebb and flow of influences as composers travelled from city to city or court to court, disseminating their tastes, their styles, their ideas. A detailed chronology enables the reader to take in at a glance the sequence of musical events across the entire period. The Companion to Baroque Music, which contains a foreword by Christopher Hogwood, offers both reliable reference material and lively, enlightening reading to all those - amateur and professional, from the skilled practical musician to the person who has never played anything more demanding than a piece of stereo equipment - who love the music of the era that culminated in the great masterworks of Bach and Handel.
Domaine partagé entre arts de la scène et arts visuels, l'étude des interactions entre musique et geste est encore peu visitée par la recherche interdisciplinaire. S'adressant à des musicologues, des historiens de l'art, du théâtre et de la danse, le présent ouvrage invite à l'exploration des diverses facettes du jeu scénique, tel que pratiqué sur une période allant de la tragédie lyrique sous le règne de Louis XIV à l'avènement du mélodrame théâtral et à l'essor du Grand Opéra au cours des premières décennies suivant la Révolution. Les treize études de ce volume portent sur l'émergence de nouvelles pratiques dramaturgiques dans le domaine de la danse et du geste au cours des XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles. Sont également mises à jour les influences réciproques entretenues dans la France de l'Ancien Régime avec d'autres courants artistiques, tels que le ballet en action viennois ou les traditions théâtrales foraines héritées de la commedia dell'arte. Le volume est agrémenté de nombreux exemples musicaux, facsimilés et documents iconographiques, et offre en annexe le texte complet de deux pièces inédites, L'Acte Pantomime ou la Comédie sans paroles (1732) et Le Réveil des Vaudevilles (1749).
Integrating historical and cultural context with composer biography, music analysis, and performance practice, the text surveys Baroque music while analyzing in depth more than forty works from the principal traditions of the period. An opening chapter on late-Renaissance vocal music and a closing chapter on galant instrumental music provide bridges to earlier and later European music. Thoroughly revised and updated to reflect current scholarship, this second edition of Music of the Baroque offers expanded coverage of instrumental music, with new sections on French lute music and the Italian trumpet sinfonia, along with enhanced discussion of chamber music from Salomone Rossi to Biber and Corelli. French sacred music also receives renewed attention. Offering models for musical criticism and analysis in a variety of compositional styles, author David Schulenberg analyzes familiar works like Monteverdi's Orfeo and a Bach cantata as well as lesser-known compositions, including works by Barbara Strozzi and Elizabeth-Claude Jacquet de La Guerre.
The first historical overview of vocal performance practice and style ever published, Singing In Style provides an introduction to how such issues as ornamentation, vibrato, rubato, portamento, articulation, tempo, language, and accompaniment with period instruments have been handled since the seventeenth century. Each chapter presents a historical period and gives background information on the singers and composers, the vocal repertoire, and the stylistic conventions of that time. Specific repertoire examples are discussed as well, to show how to use the music itself as a context for making stylistic choices. Each chapter also has an extensive reference list arranged by topic, so the interested reader can pursue a particular subject in more depth. Covering the Baroque period to the present, Elliott casts a wide net, bringing together information from historical treatises, personal accounts from composers, performers, historians, critics, and current scholarly commentary into one convenient handbook for the student and the amateur and professional performer who want to learn more about how vocal works were sung in their day.