The Politics of Opera in Handel's Britain

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-06-30
  • Publisher: Cambridge Univ Pr
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The Politics of Opera in Handel's Britain examines the involvement of Italian opera in British partisan politics in the first half of the eighteenth century, which saw Sir Robert Walpole's rise to power and George Frideric Handel's greatest period of opera production. McGeary argues that the conventional way of applying Italian opera to contemporary political events and persons by means of allegory and allusion in individual operas is mistaken; nor did partisan politics intrude into the management of the Royal Academy of Music and the Opera of the Nobility. This book shows instead how Senesino, Faustina, Cuzzoni and events at the Haymarket Theatre were used in political allegories in satirical essays directed against the Walpole ministry. Since most operas were based on ancient historical events, the librettos – like traditional histories – could be sources of examples of vice, virtue, and political precepts and wisdom that could be applied to contemporary politics.

Table of Contents

Opera and political allegory: when is it an allegory? When is it political?
Politics in the Royal Academy of Music
The opera house, allegory, and the political opposition
Handel's Second Academy
Rival opera companies and Farinelli at Madrid
Politics, theatre, and opera in the 1730s
The political content of opera librettos
Directors of the Royal Academy of Music
Operas of the Royal Academy of Music
Directors of the Opera of the Nobility
Operas of the Opera of the Nobility
Hanoverian celebratory pieces
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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