Opera in London: Views of the Press, 1785-1830

Opera in London: Views of the Press, 1785-1830

Opera in London: Views of the Press, 1785-1830

Opera in London: Views of the Press, 1785-1830

Synopsis

Theodore Fenner's Opera in London offers a vivid portrait of the operatic and cultural life of a London under the influence of Romanticism as perceived by the English press and the public who viewed the performances.

In part 1, Fenner discusses the rise of the periodical press in early nineteenth-century London and the critics of these publications who reviewed opera performances, such as Leigh Hunt and William Hazlitt. Fenner lists in the appendixes for part 1 the leading periodicals- including the Althenaeum, Examiner, and Spectator,- the critics, and reviews by leading critics.

Fenner, in part 2, examines the productions of Italian opera in London at the King's Theatre, including the problems in theatre management and financing; the varied nature of the audience; the operas and performances- those that were popular and those that failed in the words of the critics and the responses of the audience; the singers; and themes and attitudes of the period as expressed by the critics. In part 3, Fenner explores the same topics for the English operas presented at Drury Lane, Covent Garden, and other playhouses.

Parts 2 and 3 also contain extensive appendixes listing seasonal and annual performances and reviews, productions by composers and by librettists, comic and serious productions, operas by known playwrights, and minor singers. Forty-eight illustrations of singers, critics, performances, composers, and theatres add to the richness of this study.

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