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Reminiscences of Michael Kelly, of the King's Theatre, and Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Reminiscences of Michael Kelly, of the King's Theatre, and Theatre Royal Drury Lane
Including a Period of Nearly Half a Century
2 Volume Set


Part of Cambridge Library Collection - Music

  • Date Published: October 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Multiple copy pack
  • isbn: 9781108038737

£ 51.00
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About the Authors
  • Michael Kelly (1762–1826) was an Irish singer and composer who studied music in a Naples conservatory before touring Europe and performing for royalty. His voyage to Italy began with a brush with pirates, one of whom was a childhood acquaintance. Kelly also found himself stranded penniless in Venice, spent a night in prison after a fist fight at the theatre, and had a narrow escape from revolutionary France. He is probably best remembered for creating the roles of Don Basilio and Don Curzio in the first performance, in 1786, of Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, of which he describes the rehearsal period and reception. He later joined London's Theatre Royal as both a performer and composer and opened a music shop, which went bankrupt. These memoirs, published in 1826, cover an extraordinary life during turbulent times but also provide rich first-hand insights into a key period in theatre history.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2011
    • format: Multiple copy pack
    • isbn: 9781108038737
    • dimensions: 215 x 140 x 42 mm
    • weight: 1.02kg
    • contains: 2 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Volume 1:
    1. The author's birth and parentage
    2. Departure of the author for Naples
    3. Visits to Baja, Posilipo, the Grotta del Cane, and the Capo del Monte
    4. Interview with the King and Queen of Naples
    5. Kelly's visit to Rome, with Mr. Stewart and family
    6. Return of the author to Naples
    7. Arrival of the author in the Bay of Leghorn
    8. Florence and its vicinity
    9. Arrival at Venice, where the author, disappointed of his engagement, was left friendless and pennyless
    10. Departure of the author, and Signor and Signora Benini, from Venice for Germany
    11. Procession of the Doge to St. Marc's in passion-week
    12. Introduction of the author to the Marquess and Marchioness Bevi Acqua
    13. Grand Theatre at Parma
    14. Carnival at Vienna
    15. Visit to the great Haydn, at Eisenstadt
    16. His Royal Highness the Duke of York at Vienna
    17. Palace at Luxemburgh
    18. First performance of the Nozze di Figaro
    19. The author entreats leave of the Emperor to go to England
    20. A German journey
    21. Italian opera at Stutgard
    22. Faubourg St. Germains
    23. Jack Johnstone and Mrs. Billington, in Love in a Village
    24. Fine taste of his late Majesty, in a suggestion as to the manner of performing the chorus, 'Life up your heads'
    25. Introduction to Tate Wilkinson
    26. Shakespeare's jubilee
    27. First year of George Colman the Younger's management at the Haymarket
    28. Mrs. Siddon at Calais. Volume 2:
    1. First performance of the Siege of Belgrade
    2. The author's mistake in taking Sir Charles Turner for Hobler, the chorus-singer
    3. The author at Paris
    4. Paesiello's comic opera, the 'Zingari in Fiera', at the King's Theatre
    5. The Beggar's Opera prohibited in Dublin
    6. Edinburgh
    7. First performance of the Wheel of Fortune
    8. The author apprehended as a French spy at Dover
    9. Fracas at Plymouth Dock
    10. Anecdotes of Monk Lewis
    11. Mazzanti, the Italian soprano, at the performance of the Beggar's Opera Travestied
    12. Mrs. Billington's dismay at the unexpected appearance of Monsieur de Felican, her husband
    13. Difficulty of eating on the stage
    14. The King's Theatre opened by Mr. Francis Goold
    15. Tobin's Honey Moon
    16. Miss De Camp in the 'Forty Thieves'
    17. Madame Catalani dancing in a kitchen at Bangor, to the music of an old blind harper
    18. Covent Garden Theatre burnt to the ground
    19. The author's last appearance on the stage
    20. Kean's first appearance as a tragedian in 'Shylock'
    21. Arrival at Paris
    22. Death of Sheridan
    23. List of sixty-two dramatic pieces, for which Kelly composed the music

  • Author

    Michael Kelly

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