Liner notes, 'Handel in the playhouse'

Joncus, Berta. 2009. Liner notes, 'Handel in the playhouse'. Oppella Nova Records, London. [Other]

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Abstract or Description

Handel in the Playhouse is based on new musicological research. An unusually large number of Handel tunes have been discovered in comic 18th-century musical theatre pieces called ballad operas. Working in London in the 1730s, the authors of these theatre works (which included quality playwrights and writers such as novelist Henry Fielding) cleverly stole Handel's music from his fashionable operas and instrumental works, added new English texts, and used them in their own music theatre pieces.

The ballad operas, which included (among others) the timeless Beggar's Opera, were staged many hundred times more than even the most successful of Handel's Italian operas. They were performed ceaselessly in London and were huge hits in the provinces for over a century. It was these versions of Handel's music, according to scholars, that were the most well known among British middle-class audiences in the first half of the 18th century. It was also this music that made the composer popular as a national composer, as these very English ballad operas were successes years before Handel's oratorios were fashionable

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10 May 2009

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Date Deposited:

27 Jul 2011 10:44

Last Modified:

30 Jun 2017 09:44


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