Love in a Village: A Comic Opera

Joncus, Berta; Ozmo, Žak and Rogers, Vanessa. 2020. Love in a Village: A Comic Opera. Bärenreiter, Kassel, Germany. [Other]

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Abstract or Description

"Love in a Village" (1762), the most popular English comic opera of the eighteenth century, is now the first-ever hybrid critical edition of a British musical work. This edition reveals lead tenor and Covent Garden playhouse manager John Beard to have been the chief agent behind "Love in a Village", long erroneously attributed to Thomas Arne; in fact, its medley of favourite airs of the period was arranged by trumpeter royal Edward Toms. The edition includes a hard-copy score and an online critical apparatus linked to searchable digitized primary sources.

First performed at Covent Garden on 8 December 1762, "Love in a Village" held the British stage for decades and was a hit as far away as New York, St Petersburg, and Calcutta. Its music derived from London’s pleasure garden concerts, Italian opera arias of the 1750s and 1760s, theatrical and occasional song, and common tunes. Combining within one work both humble music and sophisticated compositions by Arne, Handel, and Francesco Geminiani, among others, "Love in a Village" built on and refreshed the techniques of ballad opera for attracting audiences and creating playhouse stars.

The publication of "Love in a Village" has been supported by the Mainz Academy of Sciences and Literature, as the fourth volume of OPERA – Spectrum of European Music Theater in Individual Editions. This series, which has received over 25 million euros in research investment, is dedicated to creating critical editions of outstanding works of European musical theatre from the seventeenth to twentieth centuries.

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ISBN 9790006543205
Edition no. BA 8814


18th-century opera, stars, pastiche, hybrid edition, Baerenreiter, John Beard

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June 2020


Funding bodyFunder IDGrant Number
The Union of the German Academies of Sciences and HumanitiesUNSPECIFIED

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Date Deposited:

26 Apr 2017 14:14

Last Modified:

09 Mar 2021 09:44


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