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November 19 , 2009

The Lively Arts of the London Stage, 1675–1725


Unlike collections of essays which focus on a single century or whose authors are drawn from a single discipline, this collection reflects the myriad performance options available to London audiences, offering readers a composite portrait of the music, drama, and dance productions that characterized this rich period. Just as the performing arts were deeply interrelated, the essays presented here, by scholars from a range of fields, engage in dialogue with others in the volume. The opening section examines a famous series of 1701 performances based on the competition between composers to set William Congreve's masque The Judgment of Paris to music. The essays in the central section (the 'mainpiece') showcase performers and productions on the London stage from a variety of perspectives, including English 'tastes' in art and music, the use of dance, the depiction of madness and masculinity in both spoken and musical performances, and genres and modes in the context of contemporary criticism and theatrical practice. A brief afterpiece looks at comic pieces in relation to satire, parody and homage. By bringing together work by scholars of music, dance, and drama, this cross-disciplinary collection illuminates the interconnecting strands that shaped a vibrant theatrical world.

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