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Inventing the Opera House

Inventing the Opera House
Theater Architecture in Renaissance and Baroque Italy

$54.99 (P)

  • Date Published: May 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108421744

$ 54.99 (P)
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About the Authors
  • In this book, Eugene J. Johnson traces the invention of the opera house, a building type of world wide importance. Italy laid the foundation theater buildings in the West, in architectural spaces invented for the commedia dell'arte in the sixteenth century, and theaters built to present the new art form of opera in the seventeenth. Rulers lavished enormous funds on these structures. Often they were among the most expensive artistic undertakings of a given prince. They were part of an upsurge of theatrical invention in the performing arts. At the same time, the productions that took place within the opera house could threaten the social order, to the point where rulers would raze them. Johnson reconstructs the history of the opera house by bringing together evidence from a variety of disciplines, including music, art, theatre, and politics. Writing in an engaging manner, he sets the history of the opera house within its broader early modern social context.

    • This is the only book, since the 1930s, to cover this subject, and the only English language one to ever be produced
    • Sets the subject into a broad context of the arts, politics, and social history of the period
    • The book aims to reach both specialists and the general reader, making it appealing to those who know the field well and those who do not care to plow through scholarly jargon
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… sprinkled with photographs and illustrations of Italian theatres as well as architectural plans and digital reconstruction of stage interiors. The content is technical throughout, but there’s just enough colour to hold the general reader’s interest.' BBC Music Magazine

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108421744
    • length: 346 pages
    • dimensions: 262 x 185 x 22 mm
    • weight: 1.03kg
    • contains: 132 b/w illus. 63 colour illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Ferrara and Mantua, 1486–1519
    2. Rome 1480s–1520
    3. Early theaters in Venice and the Veneto
    4. Sixteenth-century Florence, with excursions to Venice, Lyon and Siena
    5. Early permanent theaters and the commedia dell'arte
    6. Theaters in the ancient manner and Andrea Palladio
    7. Drama-Tourney theaters
    8. Ferrara, Parma, and theaters of Giovanni Battista Aleotti
    9. Seventeenth-century theaters in Venice: the invention of the opera house
    10. Seventeenth-century theaters for comedy and opera
    11. Teatro di Tordinona in Rome, Queen Christina of Sweden, and Carlo Fontana.

  • Author

    Eugene J. Johnson, Williams College, Massachusetts
    Eugene J. Johnson is Amos Lawrence Professor of Art History at Williams College, Massachusetts.

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