Subject Area: Music- Opera

An Essay on the Opera saggio Sopra L'opera in Musica by Francesco Alagarotti
 Burgess, Robin
2005 0-7734-6048-9 152 pages
This work is an important, but neglected, treatise of 18th century musical aesthetics. It belongs to that mid-century movement in the arts that saw a reaction against the artificiality and formality, as it came to seem, of the Baroque style and towards the naturalness of expression characteristic of the painting, literature, drama, even fashions in gardening in the latter part of the century. Algarotti was a man of wide interests and deep culture who himself assisted in opera productions in Berlin and Parma. In this essay, he sets out a program for the form of opera that bears remarkable resemblances with the first recognisably modern works in the form that are still performed today, the operas of Gluck. The essay attracted considerable attention in its day, being translated into several European languages. The new edition makes available once more the contemporary English translation, which is both accurate and has an attractive period quality.

An Examination of Robert Beadell’s (1925 - 1994) Four Major Works for the Lyric Stage
 Root, Scott L.
2004 0-7734-6531-6 175 pages
Robert M. Beadell (1925-1994) modestly referred to himself as a “neoclassic eclectic composer” and an “obscure regional composer”, yet these appellations do not begin to describe the importance of his contribution to twentieth century American music. The four music drams which are the subject of this study are each very different in their size and scope, yet all bear the unmistakable stamp of Beadell’s unique blend of music and drama. This book intends to show that the four music dramas are unique examples of American opera and should have the opportunity to be examined for their musicological and dramatic worth so that American opera directors and impresarios can decide if they should be included as definitive examples of American opera.

An Examination of Verdi's Otello and Its Faithfulness to Shakespeare
 Hawes, Jane
1994 0-7734-9092-2 156 pages
Work analyzes how Verdi produced what is not only a monumental piece of music, but a remarkably effective and faithful adaptation. It examines how Verdi (and his librettist, Arrigo Boito) translated from speech to music, and what is required generally for a good adaptation. The study is primarily musical, though it examines literary matters as well. It examines principal characters and their relationships, the arias, the structure, and differences and similarities between Verdi and his source, Shakespeare.

Benjamin Britten Discography
 Parsons, Charles H.
1990 0-88946-486-3 260 pages

Choruses in Mozart's Opere Serie and the Genre and Historical Role of the Opera Chorus
 Shrader, James A.
2012 0-7734-2928-X 188 pages
The choruses from the eighteenth century opere serie of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart represent a body of literature that is relatively unknown. While the majority of Italian opere serie exclude the chorus, most of Mozart’s works in this genre contain significant choral scenes. The existence of opera seria as popular musical theater was short-lived, yet the choruses from Mozart’s opere serie are worthy examples of secular choral literature.

The study includes a scholarly examination of the opera seria as a genre, as well as the historical role of the opera chorus. Of particular importance is the operatic reform movement in France.

Chronology of Opera Performances at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, 1860-1917 (@ Book Set)
 Fryer, Paul
2009 0-7734-3853-X 1212 pages
Compiled by an Anglo-Russian research team over a four-year period, the chronology has drawn on contemporary records in the archives of the Mariinsky itself, the newspaper archives in the Russian National Library in St Petersburg and material held in the St Petersburg State Museum of Theatre and Music: the vast majority of this material has never appeared in English-translation prior to the current publication.

Cultural Context of Mozart's Magic Flute Social, Aesthetic, Philosophical Vol. 2
 Eckelmeyer, Judith A.
1991 0-7734-4602-8 496 pages
Addresses problems of symbols and references in The Magic Flute by considering a broad cultural heritage, including the early 17th-century movement of the Rosicrucians, 17th and 18th-century educational, scientific, philosophical and religious developments, and late 18th-century social and political circumstances. The appendices that appear in Volume Two provide sources for further study not only for scholars but also opera companies and the Masonic communities. Appendix I is a 3-part representation of the text of The Magic Flute: a photocopy of the original German libretto; a side-by-side English translation; and the German text that appears in Mozart's handwritten score of the opera which shows differences in words from the printed libretto and sometimes reveals a slightly different thinking of the characters' personalities and stage action. Appendix II is a photo reproduction and translation of the complete article "Ueber die Mysterien der Aegyptier", written by the Master of one of the most important and active Masonic lodges in Vienna in the 1780's, Ignaz von Born. It is said to have inspired some of the plot and detail in The Magic Flute.

Cultural Context of Mozart's Magic Flute- Social, Aesthetic, Philosophical Vol. 1
 Eckelmeyer, Judith A.
1991 0-7734-9642-4 356 pages
Addresses problems of symbols and references in The Magic Flute by considering a broad cultural heritage, including the early 17th-century movement of the Rosicrucians, 17th and 18th-century educational, scientific, philosophical and religious developments, and late 18th-century social and political circumstances. The appendices that appear in Volume Two provide sources for further study not only for scholars but also opera companies and the Masonic communities. Appendix I is a 3-part representation of the text of The Magic Flute: a photocopy of the original German libretto; a side-by-side English translation; and the German text that appears in Mozart's handwritten score of the opera which shows differences in words from the printed libretto and sometimes reveals a slightly different thinking of the characters' personalities and stage action. Appendix II is a photo reproduction and translation of the complete article "Ueber die Mysterien der Aegyptier", written by the Master of one of the most important and active Masonic lodges in Vienna in the 1780's, Ignaz von Born. It is said to have inspired some of the plot and detail in The Magic Flute.

Dictionary of Heroes, Heroines, Lovers, and Villains in Classical Opera
 Glick, Andrew S.
2004 0-7734-6284-8 470 pages
This tremendous reference is in dictionary style for the easy reference and use by researchers, scholars, and any reader interested in the opera. It is an excellent source for looking up anything from specific data on a particular opera to which aria is connected with which opera. This volume is generously cross-referenced and should prove invaluable in answering many questions on the opera.

Dramatic Parallels in the Operas of Michael Tippett
 Scheppach, Margaret
1990 0-88946-447-2 204 pages

Early Operas of Michael Tippett
 Jones, Richard Elfyn
1996 0-7734-8816-2 300 pages
No recent composer of art music has so successfully articulated a visionary concern with the human condition and the discovery self than Michael Tippett, and nowhere is this more potently expressed than in his five operas, the first three of which form the subject of this study. This study first deals with the fasinating range of verbal and dramatic symbolism of three operas (The Midsummer Marriage, King Priam, and The Knot Garden) in chapters which do not require from the reader a technical knowledge of music. The other chapters, with their extensive musical analyses, will be of more particular interest to musical scholars and students.

Equity in Operatic Casting as Perceived by African American Male Singers
 Oby, Jason
1998 0-7734-2225-0 116 pages
A study of casting of the Black male opera singer and issues that have not been formally addressed or openly confessed before, enriched by significant statements by fellow professionals. Offers evidence of sociological problems that must be addressed to overcome serious misconceptions. Includes an interview with George Shirley, and quotes from Simon Estes, Arthur Thompson, and Vinson Cole.

Essence of Victorian Opera: The Unheroic and the Heroic Middle-Class Tastes and Mores
 Smith, Arnold Ian
2014 0-7734-4301-0 416 pages
The work focuses on what led to the establishment of the unheroic in Victorian opera. It focuses sharply on two instrumental factors that gave rise to the unheroic; middleclassness and Victorian ideas on the morality and immorality of music.
An interdisciplinary examination of the literary, musical, and sociological aspects of the works written for the Victorian lyric stage. It presents a vivid picture of the 19th century English lyric stage and provides a framework for this study by examining some of the 17th and 18th century forerunners of the Victorian operatic repertoire.

Figure of Dido in French Drama and French Music
 Hollard, Thoron
2012 0-7734-2592-6 644 pages
Here for the first time, the various French treatments of Dido’s tragic story in both drama and music, most of which are little known today, are brought together, examined, compared, and evaluated. In Virgil’s Aeneid, the evocation of Dido’s great and fateful passion had an impact that has continued to reverberate over two millennia. Among the vast array of artistic creations that Dido has inspired are a number of French tragedies and musical works from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries. This study embraces different genres and spans several centuries, demonstrates the commonalities between the works, and reveals the individuality and uniqueness of each interpretation. This study first looks at the broader European context before the French dramas, cantatas and operas are each analyzed in detail. What emerges is that there is indeed a myriad of ways to tell and interpret a story. The various interpretations show an intriquing and sometimes surprising degree of individuality on the part of these writers and composers.

Fontainebleau Operas for the Court of Louis XV of France by Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764)
 Rice, Paul F.
2004 0-7734-6438-7 352 pages
During the eighteenth century, the French court made yearly trips to the chateau of Fontainebleau during the autumn months, partaking of the abundant hunting in the surrounding area, and enjoying evenings of operas and plays presented by the leading performers from Paris.

Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764), the leading French composer of the period, was asked to present five new operas at the chateau in 1753 and 1754. Only one of these works was ever published and three of the five were never heard in Paris. Consequently, these works have remained little known.

This book presents Rameau’s works first heard at Fontainebleau in the context of their compositional and performance histories, a context which is rich in court intrigues and social change. This study is the first published work to investigate these operas in detail, Rameau’s relationship to the court and the public opera house of Paris is reevaluated, and the richness of Rameau’s musical imagination is revealed in works from his maturity.

French Reimaginings of the Ancient Legend of Arion and the Dolphin: (Re)creations in Art, Words, Music
 Hollard, Thoron
2015 1-4955-0327-5 376 pages
The relationship between humans and dolphins has been a subject of interest since earliest times… This fascinating book explores first the classical background to Arion and his dolphin story and then its treatment by French literary and artistic figures who, in a variety of genres and forms, have recreated the story and brought out new meanings more appropriate to their particular times.”
-Chris Dearden,
Emeritus Professor of Classics,
Victoria University of Wellington ,New Zealand

Giuseppe Mazzini’s Philosophy of Music (1836) - Envisioning a Social Opera: English Translation by E.a.v. (1867)
 Mazzini, Giuseppe
2004 0-7734-6469-7 133 pages
Political thinker, philosopher, patriot, and republican, Giuseppe Mazzini (1805-1872) sought solace from his intense activity as a political activist and writer by singing to his own guitar accompaniment. A genuine music lover, in 1836, Mazzini published a pamphlet (40 pages) entitled Filosofia della musica in which he denounced the condition into which music had fallen and suggested the remedy for its resurgence -- this time as a social art.

“The committed composer cannot restrict himself to writing notes and chords, but must understand the vast influence which [opera] could exercise on society. He should not renounce the idea in favor of the form; progressive operatic music must abandon the rigid rules of the classicists, to take on characteristic tint and historical reality; the idea of opera as entertainment must change to one of opera as a mission; the chorus, which portrays the people, must be used more.”

This publication of Mazzini’s Philosophy of Music comes at a juncture when musicologists, especially in the English-speaking world, are increasingly reconsidering the topics and formulas through which the history of music in the nineteenth century has familiarly, for a long time now, been written. Mazzini’s text offers this project some promising leads. It does not as theory but as practice, not for the answers it gives but for the questions it raises.

Little known among English-speaking musical scholars, Mazzini’s work is presented here in a version edited and annotated by Franco Sciannameo. It comprises (1) a Foreword by American leading musicologist Lawrence Kramer, (2) a historical introduction which also offers a critique of various commentaries on Mazzini’s work published in Italian and French during the past fifty years, (3) an English translation of Mazzini’s original text and notes published in 1867 by Emilie Ashurst Venturi with Mazzini’s full approval, (4) a full bibliographical apparatus, (5) Mazzini’s original Italian text.

This book is of interest to musicologists, philosophers, political, and social historians.

Great Opera Singers of the Twentieth Century, 1927-1990
 Blair, Donald
1991 0-7734-9850-8 138 pages
Contains biographical sketches of fifty great opera singers of the twentieth century, with photographs of each singer in a famous role.

How Operas are Created by Composers and Librettists: The Life of Jack Beeson, American Composer
 Beeson, Jack
2008 0-7734-4947-7 572 pages
In this work Jack Beeson, the composer of ten operas, recounts his search for subjects and the writing of five of their librettos, his collaboration with the librettists of the other five (William Saroyan, Richard Plant, Kenward Elmslie, and Sheldon Harnick), and the varied and tangled events leading to their premieres in theatres and on television here and abroad. This book contains eighteen black and white photographs.

Influence of Shakespeare on Richard Wagner
 Inwood, Margaret
1999 0-7734-7774-8 228 pages
This book presents the historical evidence of Wagner’s own writings, reported conversations about Shakespeare, and the circumstantial evidence of the Shakespearean traits to be found in some of his works, including Das Liebesverbot, Parsifal, and the Ring cycle.

La Tosca (the Drama Behind the Opera)
 Kleine-Ahlbrandt, W. Laird
1990 0-88946-444-8 152 pages
Translation of La Tosca, the play that inspired the Puccini opera, complete with annotations and critical comments. Gives a well-rounded picture of Sardou as a playwright who imbued his pieces with a wealth of historical knowledge.

Magic Flute
 Eckelmeyer, Judith A.
1979 0-88946-955-5 96 pages
The libretto.

Magic Flute Libretto: More Literary, Religious and Historical Sources and Their Interprettions
 Thomson, Ian
2014 0-7734-0059-1 480 pages
This libretto-based study exposes the existence of an overriding purpose rooted in late-eighteenth-century eschatological thought. It also offers a new perspective on the opera’s origins.

Dr. Thomson examines the Alberti libretto of The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte) as a literary form and reveals unexamined literary, historical and religious sources, leading to a new, more coherent interpretation of the opera and to hypotheses about the identity of the libretto’s author and Mozart’s death.

Musical Structures in Wagnerian Opera
 Tuttle, Marshall
2000 0-7734-7642-3 372 pages
This monograph presents original research based on Wagner’s theoretical writings and demonstrates that there is a precise logic to his tonal structures.

Mythological in the Operas of Benjamin Britten
 Lazarevic, Slobodan
2015 1-4955-0269-4 184 pages
“This work written by authors Slobodan Lazarevic and Radmila Paunovic Stajn is a true scientific contribution to contemporary aesthetic thinking and post-structural study of the semantic and meta-semantic in the artifacts of contemporary art… using musicological and narrative methods, when discussing librettos and carefully composing their idea through overall Britten’s oeuvre, the authors emphasize the presence of mythological pattern in the work of this prolific and significant artist.”
-Prof. Dr. Miomir Petrovic,
Faculty for Culture and Media,
Megatrend University, Belgrade

Nino Rota, Federico Fellini, and the Making of an Italian Cinematic Folk Opera amarcord
 Sciannameo, Franco
2005 0-7734-6099-3 108 pages
Federico Fellini entered the pantheon of 20th-Century artists for his path-breaking films like, La dolce vita (1960) and Otto e mezzo (1963). However, it was with Amarcord (1973), that Fellini achieved universal fame. That celebration of youth and memory transcends all barriers of ethnic origin and national belonging by simply appealing to human commonalities. Similarly, Nino Rota’s music, an integral part of this film, eludes cultural boundaries by blending learned and popular musical styles – as in a folk-opera in which stories or episodes are expressed through song and dance representative of everyday life. By juxtaposing music and images, their own creative personae and their youth as it relates to our collective memories, Fellini and Rota made this film about “remembering youth” an unforgettable experience for generations of viewers and listeners. This monograph is of interest to scholars of music, cinema, and cultural studies.

Opera Theatre of Jean-Pierre Ponnelle
 Bendikas, Kristina
2004 0-7734-6485-9 220 pages
This work is the first full-length analysis of the major productions of Jean-Pierre Ponnelle (1932-1988), who has been hailed internationally as one of the most important opera directors/ designers of the last century. In a career spanning four decades he was in demand at the leading opera houses of the world where he regularly collaborated with world-class conductors and singer-actors producing an enormous range of operas representing every period, genre and style from Monteverdi and Rossini to Wagner and Strauss. He was instrumental in reinstating the seria operas of Mozart into the active repertoire and was a formidable champion for new works. These credentials require an investigation into the reasons why he was so critically and popularly successful and the influence that he has had on opera production.

Kristina Bendikas has crafted a uniquely scholarly investigation into Ponnelle’s most important and influential productions at the San Francisco Opera, the Metropolitan Opera and the Houston Grand Opera, as well as those he premiered throughout Europe. In meticulously documented chapters the author draws from substantial primary source material including reviews, interviews, and production notes in order to document and analyze the choices of the director/ designer in operas ranging from Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito to Rossini’s La Cenerentola to modern operas such as Reimann’s Lear. Ponnelle’s views on the relationship between the music of opera and theatre of opera – still central to debates about the future of opera production – construct the critical juncture “opera theatre” which lies at the heart of the book. This book illuminates the work of a formidable artist and more importantly, leads to a deeper understanding of the concerns and controversies that shaped opera production in the late twentieth century.

Operettas of Emmerich KÁlmÁn
 Martin, Jessie Wright
2014 0-7734-4273-1 256 pages
This is the first ever English language resource encompassing an extensive survey of all Emmerich Kálmán’s operettas and illuminating his enormous contribution to the genre of operetta. It is supported with explanations of musical inheritance and synthesis including musical examples. This book is filled with fascinating contextual details never before presented.

Politics of Opera in Turn-Of-The-Century Italy as Seen Through the Letters Alfredo Catalani
 Berrong, Richard M.
1992 0-7734-9230-5 160 pages
Catalani's letters contain a fascinating eyewitness account of the process of creating opera in turn-of-the-century Italy. They show what he and his contemporaries, among them Puccini, Mascagni, Leoncavallo, and Giordano, went through to obtain a libretto, arrange a premiere, and encourage subsequent productions of a new score. And, since there is no English-language biography of Catalani, this volume also provides readers not versed in Italian an opportunity to learn about the composer of La Wally and Loreley.

Resident Professional Company of the College of Wooster
 Parsons, Charles H.
2002 0-7734-7278-9 372 pages
The Ohio Light Opera at The College of Wooster is the only professional repertory company in the United States devoted exclusively to the performance of late 19th and early 20th century operetta. In addition to Gilbert and Sullivan, they perform many classics of the European and American operetta repertoire. All are performed in English, with many of the foreign-language works specially translated for the Ohio Light Opera. This book is a personal memoir as well as a history. Includes many color and black-and-white illustrations.

Selected Annotated Bibliography on Italian Serial Composers
 Stokes, Harvey J.
1990 0-88946-577-0 80 pages
A listing of articles and books on the music of eleven Italian serial composers: Berio, Bussotti, Castiglioni, Clementi, Dallapiccola, Donatoni, Maderna, Nono, Petrassi, Togni, and Vlad. Listed documents take the form of interviews, musical critiques and analyses, stylistic surveys, biographies, and listings of companies.

Adaptations of Sir Walter Scott’s Novel for the Stage, 1819-1891
 Dailey, Jeff S.
2008 0-7734-5068-8 256 pages
Explores the drama behind the trajectory of the opera, Ivanhoe, and Arthur Sullivan’s venture into Grand Opera. The back story is complex and entertaining, dealing with issues of English nationalism, socialism, politics and real estate. This book contains ten black and white photographs.

Sprechstimme in Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire
 Soder, Aidan
2008 0-7734-5178-7 136 pages
This study offers a brief history of Sprechstimme and Pierrot lunaire, Schoenberg’s recordings of Pierrot, and the ambiguity inherent in the execution of Sprechstimme. The book also presents the substantial Pierrot discography and the range of interpretational styles heard in the recordings. The author provides a thorough discussion of Pierrot’s technical vocal requirements and how the sound recordings can assist in the interpretation and performance of the Sprechstimme.

Tempo in the Soprano Arias of Puccini’s La BohÈme, Tosca, and Madama Butterfly
 Zhong, Mei
2002 0-7734-7190-1 228 pages
Difficulties in establishing tempos for Puccini’s soprano arias arise from the lack of markings in some cases, ambiguous or impractical markings in others, doubts about the authorship of some markings, and wide variations in tempo among recorded performances. This study seeks to establish the originally intended tempos for these operas. By examining Puccini’s autographs, the first edition vocal scores, and many early recordings – especially those by the sopranos or conductors who worked with the composer or performed the arias during Puccini’s lifetime – it establishes tempos that conform to Puccini’s musical and dramatic intentions. Additional sources include the commentaries of Luigi Ricci, Puccini’s rehearsal pianist; contemporaneous and contemporary commentaries; and current scholarship.

The Art Songs of Giuseppe Verdi: A Catalog of Texts and a Musiological Analysis
 Brewer, Mary Kathryn
2019 1-4955-0752-1 252 pages
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was one of the most successful opera composers of the nineteenth century. His operas, including Rigoletto, La traviata, and Otello, are still frequently performed in opera houses around the world. In comparison, his 27 art songs are far less known and rarely performed. This guide examines Verdi's 26 published art songs to highlight their profound musical and historical value and to encourage the study and performance of these pieces. The songs are discussed in terms of their composition and publication history and musical and text analyses, including examination of melody, harmony, rhythm, tempo, text, and form.

The Operas Doctor Faust and The Golem
 Crispin, Judith Michelle
2007 0-7734-5407-1 332 pages
This study explores an elite esoteric tradition of music composition, transmitted to succeeding generations by practicing musicians with an avid interest in the occult. Motivated by a conception of music as an agent of transcendence, this tradition has been most clearly articulated by Ferruccio Busoni as Junge Klassizität, or Young Classicality. The core ideas of Busoni’s Junge Klassizität have been passed from teacher to pupil in the manner of esoteric school, and encrypted as symbols within original compositions. One inheritor of Busoni’s esoteric legacy was the Australian composer Larry Sitsky, a composition student of Busoni via Egon Petri. Building on existing research into the esoteric nature of Busoni’s Junge Klassizität, this study traces the passage of the esoteric tradition along the Budoni-Petri-Sitsky line. It outlines a new, living and evolving tradition born from Sitsky’s reinterpretation and revitalization of Busoni’s model. Within the Busoni-Sitsky tradition of orientation of Junge Klassizität remains unchanged but has flowered into new esoteric manifestations. To further elucidate this tradition, this study examines the two major operas it has generated: Busoni’s Doktor Faust and Sitsky’s The Golem. It is demonstrated that the tradition’s core ideas are transmitted through these operas as encrypted symbols, awaiting future decipherment. This work will appeal to scholars of music history, pedagogy, and composition, as well as scholars of Australian music, Busoni, Sitsky and Western esotericism.

The Italian-American Immigrant Theatre of New York City 1746-1899: Early Opera and Vaudville 1838-1844 - Vol. 9
 Aleandri, Emelise
2011 0-7734-1588-2 728 pages

The Italian-American Immigrant Theatre of New York City 1746-1899: Proliferation of Opera and Its Stars 1868 - Vol. 10
 Aleandri, Emelise
2013 0-7734-4359-2 464 pages
As we progress through these volumes chronicling the Italians in New York theatre, each year’s compilation loom noticeably larger than the one before. The surge began dramatically after the Civil War and continued to expand, with more Italian visitors and residents participating in the theatrical life and business of the city.

The Origins and Roles of Instrumental Music in the Operas of Richard Strauss: From Concert Hall to Opera House
 Rowat, Malcolm
2012 0-7734-3078-4 252 pages
The main purpose of this volume is to provide an overview to all of Richard Strauss’s musical and operatic compositions. Usually the operas are ignored by scholars and composers who only perform his instrumental works. This book shows that there is incredible musical value in the operas as well. It also showcases his compositional style and techniques, as the author states, Strauss could compose while riding on a noisy train, he was just that talented.

Because of his involvement with the Nazi Party, Richard Strauss has been ignored by musical scholars for quite some time. Even when he is studied his operas are often viewed as being less important than his instrumental works. This book remedies that misconception by addressing how his operas were created and pin pointing the musical importance by chronicling their compositional qualities. There is also quite a bit about Strauss’s life in this book as well.

Three Women Opera Composers: A Musiciological Interpretation of Ingeborg von Bronsart, Ethel Smyth, and Thea Musgrave
 Boyd, Melinda J.
2019 1-4955-0759-9 296 pages
This book is intended to broaden our understanding of opera by investigating the contributions of selected women composers who successfully navigated educational, institutional and social restrictions, and traditions in order to bring their operas to the public theaters, where their lives, as well as their works, were subject to scrutiny and criticism of the musical press. Ingeborg von Bronsart (1840-1913), Ethel Smyth (1858-1944), and Thea Musgrave (b. 1928) all made distinguished contributions to their art, producing operas of considerable artistic merit that were admired by many of their contemporaries.

Words and Music in Henry Purcell's First Semi-Opera, Dioclesian an Approach to Early Music Through Early Theatre
 Muller, Julia
1990 0-88946-495-2 520 pages
Although both the complete libretto (1690) and the full score (1691) of Henry Purcell's first semi-opera The Prophetess: or, The History of Dioclesian have been preserved, the work has never been fully discussed. In this study its relationship to the play of the same name by John Fletcher and Philip Massinger (1622?) and in particular the "Alterations and Additions After the Manner of an OPERA" by Thomas Betterton, actor-manager of the Dorsert Garden Theatre, come under scrutiny. With a line-by-line comparison of the opera with the only two published versions of the play extant, which are in the Beaumont and Fletcher First Folio (1647) and Second Folio (1679). Double numbering ensures easy reference to both Notes and Folios. The alterations are shown to be classifiable under such headings as late seventeenth-century theatre conventions, political expediency, providing scope for music and dance, and unification. The high degree of unification found in the text and particularly in the music, which is dealt with separately, shows that earlier criticism of this semi-opera as lacking coherence is unfounded.