Ancient Drama in Music for the Modern Stage

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-07-15
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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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.

Author Biography

Peter Brown is a Lecturer in Classics at Oxford University, a Fellow of Trinity College, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama. He has published extensively on Greek and Roman drama (mainly comedy), and his translation of the Comedies of Terence appeared in the Oxford World's Classics series in January, 2008.

Suzana Ograjensekis a Research Fellow at Clare Hall, Unversity of Cambridge, and a former Research Assistant at the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama in Oxford. She is a specialist in baroque opera and has worked extensively in Handel studies.

Table of Contents

1. Precursors, Precedents, Pretexts: the Institutions of Greco-Roman Theatre and the Development of European Opera, Roger Savage
2. Greek Tragedy and Opera: Notes on a Marriage Manque, Michele Napolitano
3. Incidental Music and the Revival of Greek Tragedy from the Italian Renaissance to German Romanticism, Jason Geary
4. Phaedra's Handmaiden: Tragedy as Comedy and Spectacle in Seventeenth-Century Opera, Wendy Heller
5. Dance in Lully's Alceste, Jennifer Thorp
6. The Ghost of Alcestis, Amy Wygant
7. The Rise and Fall of Andromache on the Operatic Stage, 1660s-1820s, Suzana Ograjensek
8. Opera Librettos and Greek Tragedy in Eighteenth-Century Venice: The Case of Agostino Piovene, Robert C. Ketterer
9. Ancient Tragedy in Opera, and the Operatic Debut of Oedipus the King (Munich, 1729), Reinhard Strohm
10. Establishing a text, securing a reputation: Metastasio's Use of Aristotle, Michael Burden
11. The Gods out of the Machine . . . and their Comeback, Bruno Forment
12. Who Killed Gluck?, Simon Goldhill
13. The Metamorphosis of a Greek Comedy and its Protagonist: Some Musical Versions of Aristophanes' Lysistrata, Simone Beta
14. Taneyev's Oresteia, Michael Ewans & Anastasia Belina
15. Crossings of Experimental Music and Greek Tragedy, Christian Wolff
16. The Action Drama and the Still Life: Enescu, Stravinsky, and Oedipus, Stephen Walsh
17. Sing Evohe! Three Twentieth-Century Operatic Versions of Euripides' Bacchae, Robert Cowan
18. Re-staging the Welttheater: A Critical View of Carl Orff's Antigonae and Oedipus der Tyrann, Nicholas Attfield
19. 'Batter the Doom Drum': The Music for Peter Hall's Oresteia and other Productions of Greek Tragedy by Harrison Birtwistle and Judith Weir, David Beard

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