Handel at Drury Lane: Ballad Opera and the Production of Kitty Clive

Joncus, Berta. 2006. Handel at Drury Lane: Ballad Opera and the Production of Kitty Clive. Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 131(2), pp. 179-226. ISSN 0269-0403 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Handel's music was a key source for Drury Lane entertainments from 1728 to 1745. Ballad-opera writers regularly deployed Handel tunes, generating multiple performances of his music in low-style, native works that long preceded his oratorios. The soprano Kitty Clive, the biggest star of this genre, initially performed Handel airs both in ballad operas and as additional songs. From 1737, Handel compositions helped bolster Clive's 'high-style' reputation, while Handel benefited from Clive's audience-drawing power. In its politics, narratives and musical forms, the design of music Handel composed for Clive shows him adhering closely to the soprano's already established star persona.

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2 June 2006Published

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27 Jul 2011 08:57

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30 Jun 2017 09:44

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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