Oakeley, Sir Herbert (Stanley)

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5. From Weber to Verdi.

The idea of a ‘great totality’ of staging, integrated by one man, had a future. German-speaking theatre was allowing room in the 1790s for the notion of a ‘Regisseur des Schauspiels’ whose responsibilities included ‘balancing all the individual details to create the overall effect’; and such ideas influenced influential operatic music directors, including Weber. As overseer of all aspects of vocal and visible activity on stage at the Prague Opera (1813–16), Weber conceived an ideal of a score and staging where ‘every contribution of the related arts is moulded together in a certain way, dissolving to form a new world’; and at Dresden (1817–26) he was an advocate of the ‘Leseprobe’ (the early reading aloud by a company of the libretto to ensure that everyone involved had an idea of his or her place in the whole), was concerned to develop versatility in his soloists and acting ability in his chorus, and was minded to employ a ‘literator’ to discuss problematical aspects of librettos with performers and a dancing-master who would double as a movement coach and also devise effective stage groupings.

Individualized, picturesque-romantic stagings came to appeal to other national operas around Europe too. For instance, William Charles Macready, the English actor-manager in spoken theatre, was concerned to take great and detailed care in embodying the dramatist's ‘picture’ on the stage, ‘complete in its parts and harmoniously arranged as to figure, scene and action’, and saw no reason why he should not apply the same techniques to staging opera in English. But the detailed itemization of stage action that appears in his prompt-books is hugely outdone across the English Channel by the quantity of movement, stage business and character revelation (to say nothing of matters of scenery, costumes and props) recorded behind the scenes at the Parisian grands spectacles of the age of Meyerbeer, Auber and Eugène Scribe, for use by stage managers, prompters, répétiteurs and the rehearsers of revivals. Staging almost for staging's sake – flamboyant Romantic-historical décor, crowd effects, exploitation of the new-fangled gas illumination – found itself in the foreground in French grand opéra. Of course, the sheer vocal and histrionic skills of such principals as Adolphe Nourrit and later Pauline Viardot were vital to an overall theatrical success; but there was so much else as well to claim the attention. So it is not surprising, given the need to keep some control over it all, that positions with the fairly interchangeable designations régisseur de la mise en scène, directeur de la scène and metteur en scène begin to appear in Parisian personnel lists.

The newly prominent French régisseurs were entrusted with the task of conniving with the operatic team – librettist, composer, company director, scenic artist, costume designer, choreographer and leading singers – so as to devise a durable staging of the latest score, and of making sure that the staging was adhered to during the run. Indeed, it was likely to be set in stone, to become virtually part of the work itself for Parisian revivals and productions in other places, through the régisseur's compilation of a sophisticated livret de mise en scène, which included a movement-by-movement, prop-by-prop account of the whole complex spectacle. These livrets, which evolved from less ambitious attempts in the 1800s to fix the stagings of Parisian melodramas and opéras comiques for the benefit of provincial managers, were often put into print; by 1850 over 80 of them had been published in Paris – distant, indirect descendants of the practical preface Gagliano had written for Dafne in 1608.

In Italian-speaking opera houses at the time there would have seemed to be little need for such livrets. Staging methods which would have been familiar to Goldoni were still being carried out more or less efficiently, and there are records of librettists such as Romani, Cammarano and Piave listing props, coaxing some acting out of singers, ‘blocking’ chorus scenes (where such existed), organizing comparse and troubleshooting backstage at premières. But as Italian opera, largely through the maturing of Verdi's genius, became theatrically more complex and hence more at risk after the première (which was artistically in the hands of the composer and his close colleagues) – especially when taken up by another company at a distance – a more rigorous means of quality control in staging was called for. If Verdi created the problem, however, he also had, indeed insisted on, a particular solution. Louis Palianti's series of Parisian livrets de mise en scène had included accounts of two productions of Verdi pieces with which the composer had been closely involved while in France in the 1850s. Passionately concerned to get and keep stage business right, Verdi was much taken with the livret idea. That for Les vêpres siciliennes was translated into Italian, and from then on each of Verdi's new operas had its own disposizione scenica prepared and printed by his publisher Ricordi with the composer's collaboration. By the end they were immensely elaborate; that for Otello (1887) – one for Falstaff has yet to be found – includes 270 diagrams of stage positions and moves (see fig.21). ‘Because of recent developments in the music-drama, every movement has its raison d'être and the old stage conventions are no longer acceptable’, says Ricordi in his epilogue to the disposizione for Aida (1872). He had no cause to ponder what the status of the prescribed décors and movements might be when operatic staging itself had developed still further.

Opera, §VII: Production

6. Wagner and after.

The story of modern opera production may well be seen as beginning with the first Bayreuth Festival of 1876. Not only was Wagner the prototype of the 20th-century director, but also the festival he inaugurated remained for over a century one of the chief power-houses of developments in dramaturgy. By contrast with the previous theatrical practice, where staging might depend on a combination of interested parties, Wagner, in collaboration with his choreographer Richard Fricke, imposed himself as the central intelligence. Strong emphasis was placed on the role of improvisation and inspiration in stage blocking. Traditional stock histrionics were replaced by ‘natural’ expression, and singers were encouraged to ignore the audience and respond only to fellow performers on the stage. This was the apogee of illusionism, the prevailing mode in the spoken theatre, at least, from the mid-18th century.

Wagner naturally took a keen interest in the work of Georg II, the Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, whose coincident innovations with his travelling troupe were a huge influence on the evolution of stagecraft. In Meiningen productions, scenery (three-dimensional, using the box set) was designed to accommodate the movements of actors; costumes, props and lighting were exploited to create mood and atmosphere. The duke also did much to establish the supremacy of the director.

When Cosima Wagner assumed control of the Bayreuth Festival after the composer's death, she brought a natural dramatic talent to bear and continued the progressive tendency of naturalistic acting she had observed at the first festivals. At the same time, her pursuit of an ‘ideal’ performance such as Wagner would have approved led to over-prescriptiveness and the stifling of inspiration.

Naturalism in acting and staging was also sought by Konstantin Stanislavsky, who in 1898 founded the Moscow Art Theatre with Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko. Recognizing that the representation of inner truth on the stage might involve an abandonment of realism, he sought to project life not as it is perceived in reality but as it is experienced ‘in our dreams, our visions, our moments of spiritual uplift’. These principles, grounded in the system known as the ‘Method’ (based on the actor's personal experience and identification with the role), were embodied in Stanislavsky's work in the Bol'shoy Theatre Opera Studio, which he founded in 1918. Fusion of words, music and movement was the object, but it was the score rather than the libretto that was to provide the cues.

More revolutionary was the Moscow Art Theatre Musical Studio, founded in 1919 by Nemirovich-Danchenko, who rejected naturalism and realism in favour of the kind of techniques pioneered by Emile Jaques-Dalcroze, strictly synchronizing movement and gesture in abstract settings. Nemirovich-Danchenko, like many others, was influenced by the ideas of the Swiss designer Adolphe Appia, who has been described as ‘the father of non-illusionist musical theatre’. Appia aimed to create a theatrical space independent of reality: a ‘living background’ that projected mood and atmosphere predominantly by imaginative lighting. His set designs were geometrical structures inspired by contemporary constructivist principles but offset by evocative deployment of light and shadow (fig.44). His theories of opera production, expounded in a series of essays, also proposed simple, stylized costumes and quasi-symbolic, non-realistic stage movements.

Similar ideas were espoused by the English theatre designer and director Edward Gordon Craig, but he also attempted to replace painted scenery with screens, variable in shape, size and colour according to the mood of the scene. His uncompromisingly anti-realist stance further led him to propose replacing actors altogether with ‘über-Marionetten’: puppets manipulated by an omnipotent director. In his notable productions for the Purcell Operatic Society, 1900–03, his rejection of traditional stage conventions and deployment of coloured light bore witness to the symbolist approach that was to make its effect felt on subsequent generations of directors. As with Appia, Craig's influence was chiefly through his theories rather than his productions. Appia mounted Tristan und Isolde at La Scala in 1923 and designed an austere, abstract Das Rheingold and Die Walküre in Basle, 1924–5 (the Ring thus initiated was abandoned, after vigorous protests); but his ideas were contemptuously dismissed by Cosima Wagner and not taken up seriously at Bayreuth until the reforming regime of Wieland and Wolfgang after World War II.

There were, however, other progressive spirits in the early decades of the century who followed Appia in rejecting pictorialism. Gustav Wunderwald's anti-naturalistic representation of the rocky heights in his Rheingold for the Deutsche Oper, Berlin, in 1914 showed an awareness of Appia's ideas, as did the work of Alfred Roller in Vienna, Hans Wildermann in Cologne, Dortmund and Düsseldorf, and Ludwig Sievert, whose Ring was first seen in Freiburg in 1912–13, then again, with some variations, in Baden-Baden (1917), Hanover (1925) and Frankfurt (1926–7). Sievert was able to introduce both a cyclorama (such as Appia had wanted but had been prevented from executing) and a revolving stage. The influence of Appia is also evident in the dark, suggestive, geometric shapes of Sievert's Ring designs (the rocky cleft in Die Walküre, Act 2, for example), though the slanting walls and converging perspective here produce a composition that was quite original and in turn widely imitated.

Roller's designs for Mahler's Wagner and Mozart productions in Vienna from 1903 onwards applied elements of neo-romanticism to architectonic structures derived from Appia and Craig. A more thorough-going avant-garde director was Vsevelod Meyerhold, whose determination to draw attention to the artifice and mechanics of the act of stage production foreshadowed Brechtian alienation techniques. Meyerhold's first opera production was an imaginatively reductive Tristan und Isolde at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg in 1909.

Another prominent director who gave practical expression to the theories of Appia and Craig was the Austrian Max Reinhardt, who played a key role in establishing the director/impresario in the opera house, and is best known for his collaborations with Richard Strauss and Hofmannsthal. Reinhardt's approach was an eclectic one, incorporating elements of realism, symbolism and Expressionism in an attempt to recapture in modern terms the visionary experience afforded by the traditional theatre. The accusation that his ‘obtrusive’ production method obscured the author's or composer's intention is an early example of the critical reaction against ‘producer's opera’.

A new wave of realism, rooted in the anti-romantic, functional principles of the Bauhaus, informed the most stimulating experiment in opera production in the 1920s: the Berlin Kroll Opera under Klemperer (1927–31). The artist and stage designer Ewald Dülberg, who was responsible for productions there of Fidelio (fig.45), Oedipus rex, Der fliegende Holländer and Rigoletto, aimed primarily at creating clearly defined stage spaces, with starkly lit compositions drawing on principles of Cubist abstraction. Dülberg's costumes for Das fliegende Holländer (directed by Jürgen Fehling) were both modern and timeless – Senta sporting a blue pullover, grey skirt and a bright red wig – while the ships were represented as geometric shapes looming in the dark. From 1928 Dülberg's monopoly gave way to the participation of such artists as Caspar Neher, Traugott Müller, Oskar Strnad, Oskar Schlemmer and László Moholy-Nagy. In Moholy-Nagy's controversial Les contes d'Hoffmann, Romantic scenery was replaced by constructivist designs consisting of geometric and spiral motifs in the style of the Bauhaus; there were sharp contrasts of lighting, and the playing space was occupied by surreal puppet figures and the first steel furniture to appear on the operatic stage.

Meanwhile, at Bayreuth, Siegfried Wagner celebrated the reopening of the festival after the war (1924) with a sustained attempt, in his final six years, to introduce solid three-dimensional sets and other cautious innovations more in tune with the times. The hand of hallowed tradition weighed heavily, but in his last new production, Tannhäuser (1930), there was at last some evidence that the progressive ideas of contemporary music theatre were making headway.

The ascendancy of the Nazis, however, put a stop to virtually all avant-garde experimentation in dramaturgy in Germany. Only at Bayreuth – ironically in view of the close links forged between the festival and the regime – was there any sign that creative thinking had been allowed to continue. Winifred Wagner's appointment of Heinz Tietjen as artistic director of the festival brought the scenic designer Emil Preetorius to the centre of attention (fig.46). In his essay ‘Wagner: Bild und Vision’, Preetorius drew attention both to the abundance of natural effects in Wagner's works and to their conception as allegories. On the one hand, he felt that these effects ‘must be rendered clearly and with complete illusion’; on the other, he recognized that symbolism must play as important a role in the thinking of the designer as in that of the composer. Like Appia, he laid great emphasis on the use of lighting, allowing its deployment supremacy by reducing stage props to essentials.

At the Metropolitan, New York, at least one cycle of the Ring was conducted every year from 1929 to 1939 by Artur Bodanzky, using the faithfully naturalistic sets and bearskins of the Kautsky brothers first seen before World War I. The sets designed for the tetralogy after World War II by Lee Simonson also frequently sprouted foliage, but since Simonson was a Broadway designer, they had more than a touch of modernism as well, with echoes of Sievert and Preetorius.

Opera, §VII: Production

7. Since World War II.

The most radical shift in the staging of Wagner, and a key moment in the history of 20th-century opera production, occurred with the reopening of the Bayreuth Festspielhaus after World War II in 1951. Bayreuth had become indelibly associated with the Nazi regime, and it was in a conscious attempt to break with the ideology of the past that Wieland and Wolfgang Wagner, the composer's grandsons, discarded all the pictorial sets and their trappings that had become such an outdated fixture. Arguing that there was no incontrovertible reason why Wagner's works had to be given in the naturalistic mode in which they were first performed, Wieland reduced his sets to the bare essentials, essaying fidelity to the composer not on the surface but in terms of psychological truthfulness. The entire action was set on a circular platform or disc, and a cyclorama effectively suggested an endless horizon (fig.47). The stated aim was to reveal ‘the purely human element stripped of all convention’. His abandonment of Wagner's specific instructions was justified by the drawing of a distinction between the stage directions, which remained bound to 19th-century theatrical modes, and the timeless ideas of the works themselves, which demand constantly new representations. The stage directions, in other words, he regarded as inner visions rather than practical demands.

A diametrically opposed set of dramaturgical principles was evident in the work of another hugely influential director of the same era, Walter Felsenstein. Having founded the Komische Oper in East Berlin in 1947, he remained its director until his death in 1975, establishing ‘realistic music theatre’ on the basis of long, intensive rehearsal periods and committed ensemble playing, but insisting that ‘the central figure is, and remains, the singer-actor’. Felsenstein emphasized the creative contribution to be made by performers, inspiring them to replicate the psychological state of the characters they were playing, drawing on their own emotional reserves and experiences. The dramatic portrayals of characters and their interaction had to be persuasive, but Felsenstein also demanded that the act of singing in the theatre had itself to be experienced as a ‘convincing, true and utterly indispensable mode of expression’.

Felsenstein's chief legacy was the psychological and social realism he brought to bear, and the emphasis he placed on role identification. His best-known pupils, Götz Friedrich (fig.48) and Joachim Herz, as well as such directors as Harry Kupfer, fused those principles with the quite contrary ones of Brechtian theory to establish the fundamentals of an approach that dominated the stages of Europe, in a variety of contrasting forms, throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Brecht's determination to shatter the illusions constructed by traditional, ‘culinary’ theatre, as he disparagingly named it, led him to formulate the Verfremdungseffekt, usually rendered as ‘alienation effect’, though the intention was to alienate the audience from the action in order to engage it more immediately and intellectually.

Alienation techniques were used conspicuously by Friedrich in his two Ring cycles, where, for example, he caused Loge, Alberich and Wotan to step outside the framework of the drama to address the audience directly. Such techniques were used to heighten the contemporary relevance that became the hallmark of the work of Friedrich, Herz, Kupfer and other East German directors. Social and political commitment had been an intrinsic element of Felsenstein's productions too, but the incorporation of Brechtian techniques gave the work of the younger generation a sharper ideological edge. It was no doubt the potency of that ideological element that provoked bourgeois capitalist audiences and critics repeatedly to object to what was dismissed as socialist didacticism on the operatic stage – a stage, moreover, not traditionally associated with ideological engagement of any kind.

The Italian Giorgio Strehler and the Frenchman Patrice Chéreau (notably in his centenary production of the Ring at Bayreuth, 1976; fig.49) also attracted criticism in some quarters for the prominence they accorded to the ideological aspects of works. It is no coincidence that the trend they encouraged of directors turning from the spoken theatre to opera was concurrent with the rise of what came to be called, often pejoratively, ‘producer's opera’. The age of the producer, or director (as he/she has come, following American usage, more commonly to be known), may be seen as a response to a set of sociocultural factors affecting the reception of opera in the modern era. Chief among these are the decline in the cult of the diva and, arguably, in the individuality of expression (though not technique) of singers; the passing of the era of the autocratic, charismatic conductor who fashioned the production in his own image; and the failure of opera in the 20th century to regenerate its forms or repertory in accordance with the needs of the age. The survival of an antiquated, obsolete genre has necessitated renewal in terms of presentation.

Not all ‘interventionist’ approaches have a political intention, however: some directors (notably Jonathan Miller) have probed the works from a psychological vantage-point, while others (notably David Freeman) have prioritized emotional directness. Present-day costumes and settings have sometimes, but by no means always, been the chosen means for such explorations. In the 1970s and 80s, some directors attempted to emphasize the universality and timeless relevance of works by incorporating props and costumes from various eras.

‘Interventionist’ opera productions have also gone hand in hand with the espousal of influential critical theories such as structuralism, post-structuralism (in particular deconstruction), reader-orientated approaches and feminism. The questioning of previous certainties such as the status of the author as the origin of the text, the source of its meaning and the principal authority for its interpretation effected a revolution in the way works, both classic and modern, might be presented. Brechtian theory had already suggested that the bourgeois theatre's illusion of reality could fruitfully be dispelled by disrupting the supposed organic unity of a work, emphasizing instead its discontinuities and contradictions. Now the wider possibilities of exploiting disjunctions between text and music, even of contriving them, and of generating creative tension between surface indicators in the score or stage directions and the action as played out on stage began to be realized.

Principles of this sort were initially most evident in the work of continental, primarily German, directors, though by the 1980s the torch had passed to the younger generation of directors active in Britain. Harry Kupfer had already created over 70 productions, mostly in East Germany, before he came to international attention in 1978; Patrice Chéreau's Bayreuth Ring (1976) was more immediately influential. The Gielen-Zehelein regime at Frankfurt (1977–87) produced a series of radical stagings by a team of guest directors including Ruth Berghaus, Alfred Kirchner, Christof Nel and Hans Neuenfels that pressed such ideas into the service of vibrant music theatre. Berghaus's stagings in particular, drawing also on surrealism and the Theatre of the Absurd, influenced the work of younger directors such as David Alden and Richard Jones. Others, such as David Pountney in Britain and Peter Sellars in the USA, ploughed their own furrows, in each case producing a corpus of work that by sheer force of conviction and flair in execution has often been well received even by those of a more traditionalist persuasion.

Alongside such radical developments, a conservative tradition has been maintained in various guises. Visconti's neo-romantic, picturesque opulence was continued by his protégé, Zeffirelli, notably at La Scala and the Metropolitan (fig.50), while ‘fidelity to the text’ has been the watchword both of those directors cleaving to the humanist, Leavisite tradition (Peter Hall is a prominent example) and, on the Continent, of those adhering to werktreu principles. It would be misleading, however, to suggest that either the mainstream traditional or the radical interventionist productions had a monopoly on invention and imagination. Peter Stein's Otello and Falstaff, for example, demonstrated that even a conventional concern for harmony of stage action and score can, in resourceful hands, have electrifying theatrical results.

The 1990s witnessed a backlash against iconoclastic productions, abetted on the one hand by critics and audiences who were never entirely comfortable with the interventionism of the 1970s and 80s, and on the other by a prevailing sense of ideological apathy and cultural malaise. The need, perceived by economically besieged managements, for surefire commercial successes is also a major contributory factor, and the eclecticism afforded by the aesthetics of postmodernism has allowed a wide variety of styles to be essayed with an exuberance and virtuosity that conceal an underlying conceptual vacuum. In general terms, with a few exceptions, the directors most in demand with the major opera houses have offered surface, design-led innovation rather than ideological engagement. Alfred Kirchner's Bayreuth Ring (1994–8) exemplifies the trend.

Shifts in public taste will no doubt continue to foster experimentation. In a postmodern age uncertain of its cultural identity, or of the role of opera in society, iconoclasm and traditionalism seem destined to co-exist, giving rise to a multiplicity of stylistic approaches for some time to come.



A General. B Origins. C Early opera: (i) Italy (ii) France (iii) Germany, Austria (iv) England (v) Spain. D 18th century. E 19th century. F 20th century. G Production: (i) General (ii) Baroque (iii) Classical, Romantic (iv) Wagner and after.

a: general

b: origins

c: early opera

d: 18th century

e: 19th century

f: 20th century

g: production

Opera: Bibliography

a: general

GroveO (H.M. Brown, B. Williams)


H. Kretzschmar: Geschichte der Oper (Leipzig, 1919)

E.J. Dent: Opera (Harmondsworth, 1940, 5/1949)

W. Brockway and H. Weinstock: The Opera: a History of its Creation and Performance, 1600–1941 (New York, 1941, 2/1962)

D.J. Grout: A Short History of Opera (New York and London, 1947, rev. 3/1988 by H. Williams)

J. Kerman: Opera as Drama (New York, 1956, 2/1989)

R. Leibowitz: Histoire de l'opéra (Paris, 1957)

C. Hamm: Opera (Boston, 1966)

L. Orrey: Opera: a Concise History (London, 1972, 2/1987)

A. Basso and G. Barblan, eds.: Storia dell'opera (Turin, 1977)

R. Donington: The Opera (London, 1978)

C. Clément: L'Opéra, ou La défaite des femmes (Paris, 1979; Eng. trans., 1988)

Analyzing Opera: Verdi and Wagner: Ithaca, NY, 1984

H. Lindenberger: Opera: the Extravagant Art (Ithaca, NY, 1984)

P. Conrad: A Song of Love and Death: the Meaning of Opera (London, 1987)

E.T. Cone: ‘The World of Opera and its Inhabitants’, Music: a View from Delft (Chicago, 1988), 125–38

P. Kivy: Osmin's Rage: Philosophical Reflections on Opera, Drama and Text (Princeton, NJ, 1988)

A. Groos and R. Parker, eds.: Reading Opera (Princeton, NJ, 1989)

S. Sadie, ed.: History of Opera (London, 1989)

R. Donington: Opera and its Symbols: the Unity of Words, Music and the Myth (New Haven, CT, and London, 1991)

R. Parker, ed.: The Oxford Illustrated History of Opera (Oxford, 1994)

J. Bokina: Opera and Politics from Monteverdi to Henze (New Haven, CT, and London, 1997)

R. Dellamora and D. Fischlin, eds.: The Work of Opera: Genre, Nationhood, and Sexual Difference (New York, 1998)

H. Lindenberger: Opera in History from Monteverdi to Cage (Cambridge, 1998)

G. Tomlinson: Metaphysical Song: an Essay on Opera (Princeton, NJ, 1999)

Opera: Bibliography

b: origins



L. de' Sommi: Quattro dialoghi in materia di rappresentazioni sceniche (MS, 1556); ed. F. Marotti (Milan, 1968)

A. Ingegneri: Della poesia rappresentativa e del modo di rappresentare le favole sceniche (MS, 1598); ed. M.L. Doglio (Modena, 1989)

F. Scala: Il teatro delle favole rappresentative (Venice, 1611; Eng. trans., 1967, as Scenarios of the Commedia dell-arte); ed. F. Marotti (Milan, 1976)

G.B. Doni: Trattato della musica scenica (1630), in Lyra Barberina amphichordos, ed. A.F. Gori and G.B. Passeri (Florence, 1763), ii

Il corago, o vero Alcune osservazioni per metter bene in scena le composizioni drammatiche (MS, c1630, I-MOe); ed. P. Fabbri and A. Pompilio (Florence, 1983)

A. Solerti: Le origini del melodramma (Turin, 1903/R)

A. Solerti: Gli albori del melodramma (Milan, 1904–5/R)

F. Ghisi: Feste musicali della Firenze medicea (1480–1589) (Florence, 1939/R)

C.V. Palisca: Girolamo Mei (1519–1594): Letters on Ancient and Modern Music to Vincenzo Galilei and Giovanni Bardi, MSD, iii (1960, 2/1977)

C.V. Palisca: ‘Vincenzo Galilei and some Links between “Pseudo-Monody” and Monody’, MQ, xlvi (1960), 344–60

L. Schrade: La représentation d'Edipo Tiranno au Teatro Olimpico (Vicence 1585) (Paris, 1960)

B. Weinberg: A History of Literary Criticism in the Italian Renaissance (Chicago, 1961)

D.P. Walker, F. Ghisi and J. Jacquot, eds.: Musique des intermèdes de ‘La Pellegrina’ (Paris, 1963)

A.M. Nagler: Theatre Festivals of the Medici 1539–1637 (New Haven, CT, and London, 1964)

A.C. Minor and B. Mitchell: A Renaissance Entertainment: Festivities for the Marriage of Cosimo I, Duke of Florence, in 1539 (Columbia, MO, 1968)

C.V. Palisca: ‘The Alterati of Florence, Pioneers in the Theory of Dramatic Music’, New Looks at Italian Opera: Essays in Honor of Donald J. Grout, ed. W.W. Austin (Ithaca, NY, 1968), 9–38

H.M. Brown: ‘How Opera Began: an Introduction to Jacopo Peri's Euridice (1600)’, The Late Italian Renaissance 1525–1630, ed. E. Cochrane (London, 1970), 401–43

W. Kirkendale: L'Aria di Fiorenza, id est Il ballo del Gran Duca (Florence, 1972)

C.V. Palisca: ‘The “Camerata Fiorentina”: a Reappraisal’, Studi musicali, i (1972), 203–36

H.M. Brown: Sixteenth-Century Instrumentation: the Music for the Florentine Intermedii, MSD, xxx (1973)

C.V. Palisca: ‘The Musical Humanism of Giovanni Bardi’, Poesia e musica nell'estetica del XVI e XVII secolo, ed. H. Meyvalian (Florence, 1979), 45–72

C.V. Palisca: ‘Peri and the Theory of Recitative’, SMA, xv (1981), 51–61

N. Pirrotta: Music and Culture in Italy from the Middle Ages to the Baroque (Cambridge, MA, 1984)

R. Katz: Divining the Powers of Music: Aesthetic Theory and the Origins of Opera (New York, 1986)

G. Tomlinson: Monteverdi and the End of the Renaissance (Berkeley, 1987)

G. Tomlinson: ‘The Historian, the Performer, and Authentic Meaning in Music’, Authenticity and Early Music, ed. N. Kenyon (Oxford, 1988), 115–36

T. Carter: Jacopo Peri 1561–1633: his Life and Works (New York and London, 1989)

L.G. Clubb: Italian Drama in Shakespeare's Time (New Haven, CT, and London, 1989)

C.V. Palisca: The Florentine Camerata: Documentary Studies and Translations (New Haven, CT, 1989)

S. Parisi: Ducal Patronage of Music in Mantua, 1587–1627: an Archival Study (diss., U. of Illinois, 1989)

K. and L. Richards: The Commedia dell'Arte: a Documentary History (Oxford, 1990)

T. Carter: Music in Late Renaissance and Early Baroque Italy (London, 1992)

V. Coelho: Music and Science in the Age of Galileo (Dordrecht, 1992)

R. Andrews: Scripts and Scenarios (Cambridge, 1993)

W. Kirkendale: The Court Musicians in Florence during the Principate of the Medici with a Reconstruction of the Artistic Establishment (Florence, 1993)

F. Sternfeld: The Birth of Opera (Oxford, 1993)

G. Tomlinson: Music in Renaissance Magic (Chicago, 1993)

A. MacNeil: Music and the Life and Work of Isabella Andreini: Humanistic Attitudes toward Music, Poetry, and Theater during the Late Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries (diss., U. of Chicago, 1994)

A. MacNeil: ‘The Divine Madness of Isabella Andreini’, JRMA, cxx (1995), 195–215

J. Saslaw: The Medici Wedding of 1589 (New Haven, CT, 1996)

J.W. Hill: Roman Monody, Cantata, and Opera from the Circles around Cardinal Montalto (Oxford, 1997)

Opera: Bibliography

c: early opera

(i) Italy



L. Bianconi: ‘Funktionen des Operntheaters in Neapel vor 1700 und die Rolle Alessandro Scarlattis’, Alessandro Scarlatti: Würzburg 1975, 13–116

L. Bianconi and T. Walker: ‘Dalla Finta pazza alla Veremonda: storie di Febiarmonici’, RIM, x (1975), 379–454

R.L. and N.W. Weaver: A Chronology of Music in the Florentine Theater 1590–1750 (Detroit, 1978)

B. Hanning: Of Poetry and Music's Power: the Influence of Humanist Thought and Italian Renaissance Poetry on the Formation of Opera (Ann Arbor, 1980)

H. Becker, ed.: Quellentexte zur Konzeption der europäischen Oper im 17. Jahrhundert (Kassel, 1981)

R. Donington: The Rise of Opera (London, 1981)

M. Murata: Operas for the Papal Court, 1631–1668 (Ann Arbor, 1981)

L. Bianconi: Il Seicento (Turin, 1982, 2/1991); (Eng. trans., 1987, as Music in the Seventeenth Century)

T. Carter: ‘Jacopo Peri's Euridice (1600): a Contextual Study’, MR, xliii (1982), 88–103

P. Fabbri and A. Pompilio, eds.: Il corago, o vero Alcune osservazioni per metter bene in scena le composizioni drammatiche (Florence, 1983)

L. Bianconi and T. Walker: ‘Production, Consumption and Political Function of Seventeenth-Century Opera’, EMH, iv (1984), 209–96

N. Pirrotta: Music and Culture in Italy from the Middle Ages to the Baroque (Cambridge, MA, 1984)

D.A. d'Alessandro and A. Ziino, eds.: La musica a Napoli durante il Seicento (Rome, 1987)

L. Bianconi and G. Pestelli, eds.: SOI, ii, iv–vi (1987–93; Eng. trans. of ii, 1998)

C.V. Palisca: The Florentine Camerata: Documentary Studies and Translations (New Haven, CT, 1989)

P. Fabbri: Il secolo cantante: per una storia del libretto d'opera nel Seicento (Bologna, 1990)

P. Fabbri: ‘Riflessioni teoriche sul teatro per musica nel Seicento: “La poetica toscana all'uso” di Giuseppe Gaetano Salvadori’, Opera and Libretto, i, ed. G. Folena, M.T. Muraro and G. Morelli (Florence, 1990), 1–31

E. Rosand: Opera in Seventeenth-Century Venice: the Creation of a Genre (Berkeley, 1991)

B.L. and J.E. Glixon: ‘Marco Faustini and Venetian Opera Production in the 1650s: Recent Archival Discoveries’, JM, x (1992), 48–73

Il melodramma italiano in Italia e in Germania nell'età barocca: Como 1993

I. Alm: Catalog of Venetian Librettos at the University of California, Los Angeles (Berkeley, 1993)

W. Kirkendale: Court Musicians in Florence during the Principate of the Medici with a Reconstruction of the Artistic Establishment (Florence, 1993)

F. Sternfeld: The Birth of Opera (Oxford, 1993)

I. Cavallini: I due volti di Nettuno: studi su teatro e musica a Venezia e in Dalmazia dal Cinquecento al Settecento (Lucca, 1994)

F. Hammond: Music and Spectacle in Baroque Rome (New Haven, CT, 1994)

J. Brown: ‘On the Road with the Suitcase Aria: the Transmission of Borrowed Arias in Late Seventeenth-Century Italian Opera Revivals’, JMR, xv (1995), 3–23

P. Fabbri: ‘On the Origins of an Operatic Topos: the Mad Scene’, Con che soavità, ed. T. Carter and I. Fenlon (Oxford, 1995), 157–95

B.L. Glixon: ‘Private Lives of Public Women: Prima Donnas in Mid-Seventeenth-Century Venice’, ML, lxxvi (1995), 509–31

W.B. Heller: Chastity, Heroism, and Allure: Women in the Opera of Seventeenth-Century Venice (diss., Brandeis U., 1995)

M. Laini: La raccolta zeniana di drammi per musica veneziani della Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, 1637–1700 (Lucca, 1995)

D.E. Freeman: ‘La guerriera amante: Representations of Amazons and Warrior Queens in Venetian Baroque Opera’, MQ, lxxx (1996), 431–60

A. Ziino, ed.: ‘I rapporti musicali tra Italia e Francia nel Seicento’, Studi musicali, xxv (1996)

J.W. Hill: Roman Monody, Cantata, and Opera from the Circles around Cardinal Montalto (Oxford, 1997)

D. Daolmi: Le origini dell'opera a Milano (1598–1649) (Turnhout, 1998)

J. Leve: Humor and Intrigue: a Comparative Study of Comic Opera in Florence and Rome during the Late Seventeenth Century (diss., Yale U., 1998)

G. Tomlinson: Metaphysical Song: an Essay on Opera (Princeton, NJ, 1999)

(ii) France


H. Prunières: L'opéra italien en France avant Lulli (Paris, 1913)

L. de La Laurencie: Les créateurs de l'opéra français (Paris, 1921/R)

C. Kintzler: Poétique de l'opéra français de Corneille à Rousseau (Paris, 1991)

J. de La Gorce: L'Opéra à Paris au temps de Louis XIV: histoire d'un théâtre (Paris, 1992)

D. Schröder: ‘Die Politisierung der Barockoper: ein französisches Phänomen?’, Französische Einflüsse auf deutsche Musiker im 18. Jahrhundert: Arolsen 1995, 63–74

(iii) Germany, Austria


F. Hadamowsky: ‘Barocktheater am Wiener Kaiserhof, mit einem Spielplan (1625–1740)’, Jb der Gesellschaft für Wiener Theaterforschung 1951–2, 7–117; pubd separately (Vienna, 1955)

R. Brockpähler: Handbuch zur Geschichte der Barockoper in Deutschland (Emsdetten, 1964)

L'opera italiana a Vienna prima di Metastasio: Venice 1984

H. Seifert: Die Oper am Wiener Kaiserhof im 17. Jahrhundert (Tutzing, 1985)

W. Braun: Vom Remter zum Gänsemarkt: aus der Frühgeschichte der alten Hamburger Oper 1677–97 (Saarbrücken, 1987)

Italienische Musiker und Musikpflege an deutschen Höfen der Barockzeit: Arolsen 1994

H.J. Marx and D. Schröder: Die Hamburger Gänsemarkt-Oper: Katalog der Textbücher (1678–1748) (Laaber, 1994)

M. Engelhardt, ed.: In Teutschland noch gantz ohnbekandt: Monteverdi-Rezeption und frühes Musiktheater im deutschsprachigen Raum (Frankfurt, 1996)

(iv) England

E.J. Dent: Foundations of English Opera: a Study of Musical Drama in England during the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge, 1928/R)

E.W. White: The Rise of English Opera (London, 1951/R)

C.A. Price: Henry Purcell and the London Stage (Cambridge, 1984)

C.A. Price: ‘Political Allegory in Late-Seventeenth-Century English Opera’, Music and Theatre: Essays in Honour of Winton Dean, ed. N. Fortune (Cambridge, 1987), 1–30

(v) Spain

L.K. Stein: ‘Opera and the Spanish Political Agenda’, AcM, lxiii (1991), 125–67

L.K. Stein: Songs of Mortals, Dialogues of the Gods: Music and Theatre in Seventeenth-Century Spain (Oxford, 1993)

Opera: Bibliography

d: 18th century



GroveO (‘Opera seria’; M.P. McClymonds, D. Heartz)

MGG2 (‘Dramma per musica, §B: 18. Jahrhundert (Opera seria)’; R. Strohm)


P.J. Martello: Della tragedia antica e moderna (Rome, 1715); ed. H.S. Noce, Scritti critici e satirici (Bari, 1963)

B. Marcello: Il teatro alla moda (Venice, 1720); Eng. trans. in MQ, xxxiv (1948), 222–3, 371–403; xxxv (1949), 85–105

J. Mattheson: Die neueste Untersuchung der Singspiele (Hamburg, 1744/R)

R. Calzabigi: Scritti teatrali e letterari [1754–93], ed. A.L. Bellina (Rome, 1994)

F. Algarotti: Saggio sopra l'opera in musica (Venice, 1755, 3/1763/R)

D. Diderot: Troisième entretien sur le fils naturel (Paris, 1757)

J. Le Rond d'Alembert: ‘De la liberté de la musique’, Mélanges de littérature, d'histoire et de philosophie, iv (Amsterdam, 1759)

A. Planelli: Dell'opera in musica (Naples, 1772); ed. F. Degrada (Fiesole, 1981)

J.F. Reichardt: Über die deutsche comische Oper (Hamburg, 1774/R)

B.F. de Rozoy: Dissertation sur le drame lyrique (The Hague and Paris, 1775)

S. Arteaga: Le rivoluzioni del teatro musicale italiano (Bologna, 1783–8/R)

J. Brown: Letters upon the Poetry and Music of the Italian Opera (Edinburgh, 1789)

A.-E.-M. Grétry: Mémoires, ou Essais sur la musique (Paris, 1789, 2/1797/R)

A. Font: Favart, l'opéra comique et la comédie-vaudeville aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles (Paris, 1894/R)

T. Wiel: I teatri musicali veneziani del Settecento (Venice, 1897/R1979, with addns by R. Strohm)

E.H. Müller von Asow: Die Mingottischen Opernunternehmungen 1732 bis 1756 (Dresden, 1915, 2/1917 as Angelo und Pietro Mingotti: ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Oper im XVIII. Jahrhundert)

L. de La Laurencie: ‘La musique française de Lulli à Gluck (1687–1789)’, EMDC, I/iii (1921), 1362–489

C. de Brosses: Lettres familières sur l'Italie (1739–40), ed. Y. Bézard (Paris, 1931)

R. Giazotto: Poesia melodrammatica e pensiero critico nel Settecento (Milan, 1952)

D. Lehmann: Russlands Oper und Singspiel in der zweiten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts (Leipzig, 1958)

R. Brockpähler: Handbuch zur Geschichte der Barockoper in Deutschland (Emsdetten, 1964)

M.F. Robinson: Opera before Mozart (London, 1966, 3/1978)

D. Heartz: ‘Opera and the Periodization of Eighteenth-Century Music’, IMSCR X: Ljubljana 1967, 160–68

D. Heartz: ‘From Garrick to Gluck: the Reform of Theatre and Opera in the Mid-Eighteenth Century’, PRMA, xciv (1967–8), 111–27

J. Rushton: Music and Drama at the Académie Royale de Musique (Paris) 1774–1789 (diss., U. of Oxford, 1969)

G. Gruber, ed.: ‘Opera and Enlightenment: Round Table’, IMSCR XII: Berkeley 1977, 212–55

Die frühdeutsche Oper und ihre Beziehungen zu Italien, England und Frankreich; Mozart und die Oper seiner Zeit: Hamburg 1978 [HJbMw, v (1981)], 115–266

G. Flaherty: Opera in the Development of German Critical Thought (Princeton, NJ, 1978)

D. Heartz: ‘Diderot et le théâtre lyrique: “le nouveau stile” proposé par Le neveu de Rameau’, RdM, lxiv (1978), 229–52

R. Strohm: Die italienische Oper im 18. Jahrhundert (Wilhelmshaven, 1979)

C.E. Troy: The Comic Intermezzo (Ann Arbor, 1979)

Crosscurrents and the Mainstream of Italian Serious Opera: London, ON, 1982

W.M. Bussey: French and Italian Influence on the Zarzuela 1700–1770 (Ann Arbor, 1982)

E. Sala di Felice: Metastasio: ideologia, drammaturgia, spettacolo (Milan, 1983)

P. Gallarati: Musica e maschera: il libretto italiano del Settecento (Turin, 1984)

E. Weimer: Opera seria and the Evolution of Classical Style 1755–1772 (Ann Arbor, 1984)

P. Weiss: ‘Neo-Classical Criticism and Opera’, Studies in the History of Music, ii (New York, 1984), 1–30

T. Bauman: North German Opera in the Age of Goethe (Cambridge, 1985)

P. Weiss: ‘La diffusione del repertorio operistico nell'Italia del Settecento: il caso dell'opera buffa’, Civiltà teatrale e Settecento emiliano: Reggio nell’Emilia 1985, 241–56

D. Charlton: Grétry and the Growth of Opéra Comique (Cambridge, 1986)

D. Charlton: ‘“L'art dramatico-musical”: an Essay’, Music and Theatre: Essays in Honour of Winton Dean, ed. N. Fortune (Cambridge, 1987), 229–62

H. Geyer-Kiefel: Die heroisch-komische Oper ca.1770–1820 (Tutzing, 1987)

L. Bianconi and G. Pestelli, eds.: SOI, iv–vi (1987–8)

M. Noiray: ‘L'opéra de la Révolution (1790–1794): “un tapage de chien”?’, La Carmagnole des Muses: l'homme de lettres et l'artiste dans la Révolution, ed. J.-C. Bonnet (Paris, 1988), 359–79

M. de Rougemont: La vie théâtrale en France au XVIIIe siècle (Paris and Geneva, 1988)

Opernheld und Opernheldin im 18. Jahrhundert: Münster 1989

C. Kintzler: Poétique de l'opéra français de Corneille à Rousseau (Paris, 1991)

P. Vendrix, ed.: L'opéra-comique en France au XVIIIe siècle (Liège, 1992)

T. Betzwieser: Exotismus und ‘Türkenoper’ in der französischen Musik des Ancien Régime: Studien zu einem ästhetischen Phänomen (Laaber, 1993)

O. Termini: ‘The Role of Diction and Gesture in Italian Baroque Opera’, Performance Practice Review, vi (1993), 146–57

W. Weber: ‘L'institution et son public: l'Opéra à Paris et à Londres au XVIIIe siècle’, Annales: économies, sociétés, civilisations, vi (1993), 1519–39

T. Bauman and M. McClymonds, eds.: Opera and the Enlightenment (Cambridge, 1995)

M. Feldman: ‘Magic Mirrors and the Seria Stage: Thoughts toward a Ritual View’, JAMS, xlviii (1995), 423–84

D. Heartz: Haydn, Mozart and the Viennese School (New York, 1995)

S. Castelvecchi: Sentimental Opera: the Emergence of a Genre (diss., U. of Chicago, 1996)

R. Kleinertz, ed.: Teatro y música en España (siglo XVIII) (Kassel and Berlin, 1996)

M. Hunter and J. Webster, eds.: Opera Buffa in Mozart's Vienna (Cambridge, 1997)

P. Russo: La parola e il gesto: studi sull'opera francese nel Settecento (Lucca, 1997)

R. Strohm: Dramma per musica: Italian Opera seria of the Eighteenth Century (New Haven, CT, 1997)

Opera: Bibliography

e: 19th century

G. Mazzini: Filosofia della musica (Paris, 1836)

R. Wagner: Gesammelte Schriften und Dichtungen (Leipzig, 1871–83); ed. W. Golther (Berlin, 1913)

E. Hanslick: Die moderne Oper (Berlin, 1875/R)

P. Bekker: Wandlungen der Oper (Zürich, 1934)

W.L. Crosten: French Grand Opera: an Art and a Business (New York, 1948)

J. Kerman: Opera as Drama (New York, 1956, 2/1989)

S. Döhring: Formgeschichte der Opernarie vom Ausgang der 18. bis zur Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts (Itzehoe, 1975)

H. Becker, ed.: Die ‘Couleur locale’ in der Oper des 19. Jahrhunderts (Regensburg, 1976)

P. Brooks: The Melodramatic Imagination (New Haven, CT, 1976)

E.J. Dent: The Rise of Romantic Opera, ed. W. Dean (Cambridge, 1976)

P. Conrad: Romantic Opera and Literary Form (Berkeley, 1977)

R. Sennett: The Fall of Public Man (New York, 1977)

K. Pendle: Eugène Scribe and French Opera of the Nineteenth Century (Ann Arbor, 1979)

C. Dahlhaus: Die Musik des 19. Jahrhunderts (Wiesbaden, 1980, 2/1988; Eng. trans., 1989)

R. Taruskin: Opera and Drama in Russia as Preached and Practiced in the 1860s (Ann Arbor, 1981)

Music in Paris in the Eighteen-Thirties: Northampton, MA, 1982

H. Lindenberger: Opera: the Extravagant Art (Ithaca, NY, 1984)

J. Rosselli: The Opera Industry in Italy from Cimarosa to Verdi: the Role of the Impresario (Cambridge, 1984; It. trans., 1985, enlarged, as L'impresario d'opera: arte e affari nel teatro musicale italiano dell'Ottocento)

P. Robinson: Opera and Ideas: from Mozart to Strauss (New York, 1985)

L. Bianconi, ed.: La drammaturgia musicale (Bologna, 1986)

J. Mongrédien: La musique en France des Lumières au Romantisme (Paris, 1986)

Analyzing Opera: Verdi and Wagner: Ithaca, NY, 1984

C. Dahlhaus: ‘Operndramaturgie im 19. Jahrhundert’, AcM, lix (1987), 32–5

J. Fulcher: The Nation's Image: French Grand Opera as Politics and Politicized Art (Cambridge, 1987)

M.-H. Coudroy: La critique parisienne des ‘grands opéras’ de Meyerbeer (Saarbrücken, 1988)

C. Dahlhaus: ‘Drammaturgia dell'opera italiana’, SOI, vi (1988), 79–162

A. Groos and R. Parker, eds.: Reading Opera (Princeton, NJ, 1989)

C. Abbate: Unsung Voices: Opera and Musical Narrative in the Nineteenth Century (Princeton, NJ, 1991)

A. Gerhard: Die Verstädterung der Oper (Stuttgart, 1992; Eng. trans., 1998, as The Urbanization of Opera)

U. Kramer: ‘…richtiges Licht und gehörige Perspektive’ …: Studien zur Funktion des Orchesters in der Oper des 19. Jahrhunderts (Tutzing, 1992)

J. Rosselli: Singers of Italian Opera: the History of a Profession (Cambridge, 1992)

R.P. Locke: ‘Reflections on Orientalism in Opera and Musical Theater’, OQ, x/1 (1993–4), 48–64

L. Zoppelli: L'opera come racconto: modi narrativi nel teatro musicale dell'Ottocento (Venice, 1994)

R.P. Locke: ‘What Are These Women Doing in Opera?’, En travesti: Women, Gender Subversion, Opera, ed. C. Blackmer and P.J. Smith (New York, 1995), 59–98

E. Sala: L'opera senza canto: il mélo romantico e l'invenzione della colonna sonora (Venice, 1995)

S. Döhring and S. Henze-Döhring: Oper und Musikdrama im 19. Jahrhundert (Laaber, 1997)

S. Huebner: French Opera at the fin de siècle: Wagnerism, Nationalism and Style (Oxford, 1999)

G. Tomlinson: Metaphysical Song: an Essay on Opera (Princeton, NJ, 1999)

Opera: Bibliography

f: 20th century


H.H. Stuckenschmidt: Oper in dieser Zeit (Hanover, 1964)

M. Tannenbaum: Conversations with Stockhausen (Oxford, 1987)

F. Donaldson: The Royal Opera House in the Twentieth Century (London, 1988)

P. Driver and R. Christiansen, eds.: ‘Music and Text’, CMR, v (1989) [whole issue]

R.A. Solie, ed.: Musicology and Difference (Berkeley, 1993)

B. Gilliam, ed.: Music and Performance during the Weimar Republic (Cambridge, 1994)

E. Levi: Music in the Third Reich (London, 1994)

M. Bowen, ed.: Tippett on Music (Oxford, 1995)

P. Griffiths: Modern Music and After (Oxford, 1995)

N. Rossi: Opera in Italy Today (Portland, OR, 1995)

M. Rye: ‘Music and Drama’, Music in Britain: the Twentieth Century, ed. S. Banfield (Oxford, 1995), 343–93

J. Tambling: Opera and the Culture of Fascism (Oxford, 1996)

N. Cook: Analysing Musical Multimedia (Oxford, 1998)

J. Cross: The Stravinsky Legacy (Cambridge, 1998)

T.W. Adorno: ‘Bürgerliche Oper’, Musikalische Schriften, i: Klangfiguren (Berlin, 1959), 32–54; Eng. trans. in Sound Figures (Stanford, CA, 1999), 15–28

A. Whittall: Musical Composition in the Twentieth Century (Oxford, 1999)

Opera: Bibliography

g: production

(i) General

GroveO (R. Savage, B. Millington, J. Cox)

G.E. Shea: Acting in Opera (New York, 1915)

A. Winds: Geschichte der Regie (Stuttgart, 1925)

H.C. Wolff: Oper: Szene und Darstellung von 1600 bis 1900 (Leipzig, 1968)

G. Guccini: ‘Direzione scenica e regia’, SOI, v (1988), 123–74

M. Radice, ed.: Opera in Context: Essays on Historical Staging from the Late Renaissance to the Time of Puccini (Portland, OR, 1998)

(ii) Baroque


Il corago, o vero Alcune osservazioni per metter bene in scena le composizioni drammatiche (MS, c1630, I-MOe); ed. P. Fabbri and A. Pompilio (Florence, 1983)

B. Marcello: Il teatro alla moda (Venice, 1720); Eng. trans. in MQ, xxxiv (1948), 222–3, 371–403; xxxv (1949), 85–105

H. Prunières: ‘Lully and the Académie de Musique et de Danse’, MQ, xi (1925), 528–46

J. Eisenschmidt: Die szenische Darstellung der Opern Händels auf der Londoner Bühne seiner Zeit (Wolfenbüttel, 1940–41)

L. Schrade: La représentation d'Edipo tiranno au Teatro Olimpico (Vicence, 1585) (Paris, 1960)

I. Lavin: ‘Lettres de Parme (1618, 1627–28) et débuts du théâtre baroque’, Le lieu théâtral à la Renaissance: Royaumont 1963, 105–58

A.M. Nagler: Theatre Festivals of the Medici 1539–1637 (New Haven, CT, 1964)

C.V. Palisca: ‘The First Performance of “Euridice”’, Queens College Department of Music Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Festschrift (1937–1962) (New York, 1964), 1–23

A. Boll: ‘L'oeuvre théâtrale de Rameau: sa mise en scène’, ReM, no.260 (1965), 13–20

M. Baur-Heinhold: Theater des Barock (Munich, 1966; Eng. trans., 1967)

C. Molinari: Le nozze degli dei: un saggio sul grande spettacolo italiano nel Seicento (Rome, 1968)

W. Dean: Handel and the Opera seria (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1970)

S. Hansell: ‘Stage Deportment and Scenographic Design in the Italian opera seria of the Settecento’, IMSCR XI: Copenhagen 1972, i, 415–24

F. Lesure: L'opéra classique français: XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles (Geneva, 1972)

F. Marotti: ‘Lo spazio scenico del melodramma, esaminato sulla base della trattatistica teatrale italiana’, Venezia e il melodramma nel Seicento: Venice 1972, 349–57

C.J. Day: ‘The Theater of SS. Giovanni e Paolo and Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea’, CMc, no.25 (1978), 22–38

I. Lavin: Bernini and the Unity of the Visual Arts (New York, 1980) [incl. ‘Bernini and the Theater’, 146–57]

M. Murata: Operas for the Papal Court 1631–1668 (Ann Arbor, 1981)

L. Rosow: Lully's ‘Armide’ at the Paris Opéra: a Performance History 1686–1766 (diss., Brandeis U., 1981)

J. Milhous: ‘The Multimedia Spectacular on the Restoration Stage’, British Theatre and the Other Arts, 1660–1800, ed. S.S. Kenny (Washington DC, 1984), 41–66

N. Pirrotta: Music and Culture in Italy from the Middle Ages to the Baroque (Cambridge, MA, 1984) [incl. ‘Monteverdi and the Problems of Opera’, 235–53; ‘Theater, Sets, and Music in Monteverdi's Operas’, 254–70; and ‘Commedia dell'arte and Opera’, 343–60]

J. Milhous and R.D. Hume: ‘A Prompt Copy of Handel's “Radamisto”’, MT, cxxvii (1986), 316–21

D. Barnett: The Art of Gesture: the Practices and Principles of Eighteenth-Century Acting (Heidelberg, 1987)

L. Lindgren: ‘The Staging of Handel's Operas in London’, Handel Tercentenary Collection, ed. S. Sadie and A. Hicks (London, 1987), 93–119

R. Savage and M. Sansone: ‘Il Corago and the Staging of Early Opera: Four Chapters from an Anonymous Treatise circa 1630’, EMc, xvii (1989), 495–511

E. Rosand: Opera in Seventeenth-Century Venice: the Creation of a Genre (Berkeley, 1991)

A. Banducci: ‘Staging a tragédie en musique: a 1748 Promptbook of Campra's Tancrède’, EMc, xxi (1993), 180–90

T. Carter and Z. Szweykowski, eds.: Composing Opera: from ‘Dafne’ to ‘Ulisse Errante’ (Kraków, 1994)

M. Burden, ed.: ‘Staging the Operas’, Performing the Music of Henry Purcell (Oxford, 1996), 145–264

(iii) Classical, Romantic

F. Algarotti: Saggio sopra l'opera in musica (Bologna, 1755, 2/1763; Eng. trans., 1767)

J. Noverre: Lettres sur la danse et sur les ballets (Lyons and Stuttgart, 1760, 2/1783; Eng. trans., 1783, enlarged 1803 and 1930)

C.F.D. Schubart: Ideen zu einer Ästhetik der Tonkunst (Vienna, 1806)

E. Campardon: L'Académie royale de musique au XVIIIe siècle (Paris, 1884)

A. Beijer: Slottsteatrarna på Drottningholm och Gripsholm (Stockholm, 1937)

M.A. Allévy: La mise en scène en France dans la première moitié du dix-neuvième siècle (Paris, 1938)

C. Varese: Saggio sul Metastasio (Florence, 1950) [esp. appx, ‘La regia del dramma Metastasiano’, 103–12]

G.M. Bergman: ‘Les agences théâtrales et l'impression des mises en scène aux environs de 1800’, Revue de la Société d'histoire du théâtre, viii (1956), 228–40

M. Horányi: Eszterházi vigasságok (Budapest, 1959; Eng. trans., 1962, as The Magnificence of Eszterháza)

E. Povoledo: ‘Les premières représentations des opéras de Rossini et la tradition scénographique italienne de l'époque’, Anatomy of an Illusion: Studies in Nineteenth-Century Scene Design: Amsterdam 1965, 31–4

G. Schöne: ‘Trois mises en scène de la “Flûte enchantée” de Mozart: Berlin 1816, Weimar 1817 et Munich 1818’, ibid., 45–9

A. Downer: The Eminent Tragedian: William Charles Macready (Cambridge, MA, 1966)

D. Heartz: ‘From Garrick to Gluck: the Reform of Theatre and Opera in the Mid-Eighteenth Century’, PRMA, xciv (1967–8), 111–27

H.R. Cohen: ‘On the Reconstruction of the Visual Elements of French Grand Opera: Unexplored Sources in Parisian Collections’, IMSCR XII: Berkeley 1977, 463–81

D. Rosen: ‘The Staging of Verdi's Operas: an Introduction to the Ricordi Disposizioni sceniche’, ibid., 444–53

H. Busch: Verdi's ‘Aida’: the History of an Opera in Letters and Documents (Minneapolis, 1978)

D. Coe: ‘The Original Production Book for Otello: an Introduction’, 19CM, ii (1978–9), 148–58

J. Black: ‘Cammarano's Notes for the Staging of Lucia di Lammermoor’, Donizetti Society Journal, iv (1980), 29–44

M. McClymonds: Niccolò Jommelli: the Last Years 1769–1774 (Ann Arbor, 1980)

J. Black: The Italian Romantic Libretto: a Study of Salvadore Cammarano (Edinburgh, 1984)

H.R. Cohen: ‘A Survey of French Sources for the Staging of Verdi's Operas: “Livrets de mise en scène”, Annotated Scores and Annotated Libretti in Two Parisian Collections’, Studi verdiani, iii (1985), 11–44

H.R. Cohen and M.O. Gigou: Cent ans de mise en scène lyrique en France (env. 1830–1930) (Paris, 1986)

R. Angermüller: Mozart: die Opern von der Uraufführung bis heute (Fribourg, 1988; Eng. trans., 1988, as Mozart's Operas)

H. Busch, ed.: Verdi's ‘Otello’ and ‘Simon Boccanegra’ … in Letters and Documents (Oxford, 1988)

H.R. Cohen, ed.: The Original Staging Manuals for Twelve Parisian Operatic Premières (Stuyvesant, NY, 1991)

R. Savage: ‘Staging an Opera: Letters from the Cesarian Poet’, EMc, xxvi (1998), 583–95

(iv) Wagner and after

H. Porges: Bühnenproben zu den Bayreuther Festspielen des Jahres 1876 (Chemnitz and Leipzig, 1881–96, repr. 1896; Eng. trans., 1983, as Wagner Rehearsing the Ring)

A. Appia: La mise en scène du drame wagnérien (Paris, 1895; Eng. trans., 1982)

R. Fricke: Bayreuth vor dreissig Jahren: Erinnerungen an Wahnfried und aus dem Festspielhause (Dresden, 1906; Eng. trans., 1998, as Wagner in Rehearsal 1875–1876 [diary kept by production assistant at first Bayreuth Festival]

K. MacGowan and R.E. Jones: Continental Stagecraft (New York, 1922)

V.I. Nemirovich-Danchenko: Iz proshlovo (Moscow, 1936; Eng. trans., 1936, as My Life in the Russian Theatre)

E. Preetorius: Wagner: Bild und Vision (Berlin, 1942)

D. Magarschack, ed.: Stanislavsky on the Art of the Stage (London, 1950)

W. Felsenstein and S. Melchinger: Musiktheater (Bremen, 1961)

M. Koerth: Felsenstein auf der Probe (Berlin, 1961)

W. Wagner, ed.: Richard Wagner und das neue Bayreuth (Munich, 1962)

W. Panofsky: Wieland Wagner (Bremen, 1964)

G. Skelton: Wagner at Bayreuth: Experiment and Tradition (London, 1965, 2/1976)

W. Felsenstein: ‘Towards Music Theatre’, Opera 66, ed. C. Osborne (London, 1966), 47–55 [Eng. trans. of address in Leipzig, 1965]

G. Friedrich: Walter Felsenstein: Weg und Werk (Berlin, 1967)

A. Goléa: Gespräche mit Wieland Wagner (Salzburg, 1968)

W.R. Volbach: Adolphe Appia, Prophet of the Modern Theatre (Middletown, CT, 1968)

H. Schubert: Moderner Theaterbau: internationale Situation, Dokumentation, Projekte, Bühnentechnik (Stuttgart, 1971; Eng. trans., 1971)

G. Skelton: Wieland Wagner: the Positive Sceptic (London, 1971)

G. Zeh: Das Bayreuther Bühnenkostüm (Munich, 1973)

G. Strehler: Per un teatro umano (Milan, 1974)

P.P. Fuchs, ed.: The Music Theatre of Walter Felsenstein (New York, 1975)

G. Giertz: Kultus ohne Götter: Emile Jaques-Dalcroze und Adolphe Appia: Versuch einer Theaterreform auf der Grundlage der rhythmischen Gymnastik (Munich, 1975)

E.R. Hapgood, ed.: Stanislavsky on Opera (New York, 1975)

W. Felsenstein: Schriften zum Musiktheater (Berlin, 1976)

D. Mack: Der Bayreuther Inszenierungsstil 1876–1976 (Munich, 1976)

R. Hartmann: Opera (New York, 1977) [on production techniques]

H.-J. Irmer and W. Stein: Joachim Herz, Regisseur im Musiktheater (Berlin, 1977)

P. Barz: Götz Friedrich (Bonn, 1978)

H. Barth, ed.: Bayreuther Dramaturgie: ‘Der Ring des Nibelungen’ (Stuttgart, 1980)

C. Baumann: Bühnentechnik im Festspielhaus Bayreuth (Munich, 1980)

A.M. Nagler: Malaise in der Oper: Opernregie in unserem Jahrhundert (Rheinfelden, 1980; Eng. trans., 1981, as Misdirection: Opera Production in the Twentieth Century)

A. Tuboeuf: Bayreuth et Wagner: cent ans d'images, 1876–1976 (Paris, 1981)

O. Bauer: Richard Wagner: die Bühnenwerke von der Uraufführung bis heute (Fribourg, 1982; Eng. trans., 1982)

E. Braun: The Director and the Stage (London, 1982)

C. Innes: Edward Gordon Craig (Cambridge, 1983)

N. Ely and S. Jaeger, eds.: Regie heute: Musiktheater in unserer Zeit (Berlin, 1984)

R. Beacham: Adolphe Appia (Cambridge, 1987)

M. Eggert and H.K. Jungheinrich, eds.: Durchbrüche: die Oper Frankfurts (Weinheim, 1987)

D. Kranz: Der Regisseur Harry Kupfer: ‘Ich muss Oper machen’ (Berlin, 1988)

M. Srocke: Richard Wagner als Regisseur (Berlin, 1988)

J. Herz: Theater: Kunst des erfüllten Augenblicks, ed. I. Kobán (Berlin, 1989)

S. Neef: Das Theater der Ruth Berghaus (Berlin, 1989)

A. Peattie: ‘Following Felsenstein’, Opera Now, no.5 (1989), 52–7

H. Pleasants: Opera in Crisis: Tradition, Present, Future (London, 1989)

M. Ashman: ‘Producing Wagner’, Wagner in Performance, ed. B. Millington and S. Spencer (New Haven, CT, 1992), 29–47

P. Carnegy: ‘Designing Wagner: Deeds of Music Made Visible?’, ibid., 48–74

F. Spotts: Bayreuth: a History of the Wagner Festival (New Haven, CT, 1994)

T. Sutcliffe: Believing in Opera (London, 1996)

D.J. Levin: ‘Reading a Staging/Staging a Reading’, COJ, ix (1997), 47–71; see also response from J. Treadwell, x (1998), 205–20, and rebuttal, x (1998), 307–11
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