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Foreign Opera at the London Playhouses
From Mozart to Bellini


Part of Cambridge Studies in Opera

  • Date Published: January 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108722117

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About the Authors
  • In the early nineteenth century over forty operas by foreign composers, including Mozart, Rossini, Weber and Bellini, were adapted for London playhouses, often appearing in drastically altered form. Such changes have been denigrated as 'mutilations'. The operas were translated into English, fitted with spoken dialogue, divested of much of their music, augmented with interpolations and frequently set to altered libretti. By the end of the period, the radical changes of earlier adaptations gave way to more faithful versions. In the first comprehensive study of these adaptations, Christina Fuhrmann shows how integral they are to our understanding of early nineteenth-century opera and the transformation of London's theatrical and musical life. This book reveals how these operas accelerated repertoire shifts in the London theatrical world, fostered significant changes in musical taste, revealed the ambiguities and inadequacies of copyright law and sparked intense debate about fidelity to the original work.

    • Sets operatic adaptations within the complex context of theatre and opera in early nineteenth-century London
    • Provides an appendix of all operas adapted for the playhouses during this period, including those that have never been studied before
    • Charts critical reactions to operatic adaptations, as well as changing standards for fidelity to the original opera
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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108722117
    • dimensions: 188 x 247 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.67kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus. 6 tables 40 music examples
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. A tale of two Boieldieus
    2. The pippin and the pineapple: Rossini and Mozart
    3. 'The flood-gates of foreign music': Der Freischütz
    4. The search for Weber's successor
    5. Mozart and Rossini revisited
    6. Grand opera: competition and copyright
    7. Of foreigners and fidelity
    Appendix 1. Operas adapted for the London playhouses, 1814–33
    Appendix 2. Reviews of adaptations.

  • Author

    Christina Fuhrmann, Ashland University, Ohio
    Christina Fuhrmann is a Professor in the Department of Music at Ashland University, Ohio. Her publications include articles in Nineteenth-Century Music Review and Gender, Sexuality and Early Music and a volume on Romanticism and Opera. Her critical edition of Henry Bishop's adaptation of The Marriage of Figaro was published in 2012.

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