1st International Congress of Musicology

Athens Goethe Institute, 25-27 February 2002

Paper Abstracts

Ion Zottos

The Worth and the Value of English Opera ca. 1702

The yawning gap (in many cases) between the aesthetic value and costliness of dramatic entertainments shown on the London Stage during the Restoration is the subject of the present paper. The comedy of manners flourished side by side with the heroic play: the same audience cried on a certain night for the fate of a deprived lady, while on the following night they laughed heartily at the depravity of a country wife. Our focal point is, however, the English opera, or semi-opera: our arguments are supported by statements made by Richard Steele, Colley Cibber, Roger North and the author of The Comparison Between the Two Stages (1702). As an example of the ne plus ultra of pomp elaborate scenery and extravagance we chose The Virgin Prophetess, an English opera produced in 1701, the music of which was published in 1702 – i.e., three hundred years exactly before this year’s Symposium.

© Musicology